Landowner anger at 'losing thousands of pounds' due to Newtown Bypass
Landowners hit out at the Welsh Government ‘for grossly undervaluing’ properties and land on the day that the £95 million Newtown Bypass opened.
As many people celebrated the opening of the long-awaited 6.3km road, some were still feeling anger and frustration at the way they feel their properties and land have been treated by the Welsh Government.
A number of compulsory purchase orders were made prior to commencement of the work, with the government buying up property and land impacted by the construction.
Robert Roberts, who lived with his family on Pool Road protested for almost two years claiming he wasn’t getting a fair price for his property, and was losing out on tens of thousands of pounds.
At one point protesters chained themselves to diggers, before eventually a deal was signed and he moved out of his property.
Mr Roberts unveiled a banner on the side of a lorry on one of the new road bridges at Thursday’s opening, claiming he was a ‘Victim of the Bypass’.
He said: “They do need a bypass, they do need it but at the end of the day why haven’t they treated people fairly.
“I haven’t been treated fairly and neither have others. Before they started digging and before a shovel was even put in the ground they should have sorted things out.
“They should have said do you want this, are you happy with this and are you happy with what we are offering you.”
Mervyn Lloyd Jones, who lives on a farm next to the bypass is another disgruntled landowner who has been left unhappy with how he feels his land has been treated.
He battled to save the 450 year old Brimmon Oak Tree from being killed off the bypass, and believes the process the government have taken in taking people’s homes and land has been out of order.
He said: “Landowners feel that WG and AGC are able to exercise Compulsory Purchase Powers (CPO) with no recourse for affected landowners. WG are answerable to nobody.
“Ground required for the bypass has not been sacrificed, it has been taken with no prior negotiation as to price.
“On no other occasion can anybody take possession of a piece of ground, build on it, and then decide how much they think they might offer.
In response, a Welsh Government spokesman said: “Compulsory purchase powers have been implemented judiciously and have been subject to detailed scrutiny during the public inquiry.”