How will the new land legislation as set down in the Green Paper on Land Reform affect you?
Lloyd Phillips of Farmer’s Weekly attended a presentation by Rob McCarthy to the Nottingham Road Landowners Association recently and subsequently wrote this article which appeared in the 27 February 2012 issue.
What the proposed land laws mean for you – Part 3
What’s of great interest to me is that the end of the Green Paper focuses on the issues that a Land Rights Management Board will deal with. As soon as I saw this, I realised the Green Paper is going to work in tandem with the proposed ESTA.
As the ESTA currently stands, people on a landowner’s property are subject to certain rules and regulations. For example, they may not bring livestock onto the property or build houses without the owner’s permission. Failure to follow the rules means the land occupiers and labour tenants can be evicted.
In other words, the current ESTA spells out landowners’ rights, as well as those of the occupiers. The new draft however, is less equitable, in my opinion. It says that people who reside on your property have the right to own livestock and the right to grazing land for their livestock. But how much grazing land will this take away from a landowner? The bill also states, ‘They will have the right of access to development on a property’. The extent of this right is unspecified, meaning that tenants could develop agricultural land as they see fit. Simply put, they’ll have rights to a property normally only held by the owner.
‘They will also have the right to build houses and homesteads,’ continues the bill. So, if you have employees living on your property and they want their extended family to come and live with them, they will have the right to build on your property. A further right will be to plant crops on a portion of a landowner’s property. Again it does not specify on how much land this will be allowed.
Land occupiers and labour tenants will be given the right to bury family members on the land and the right of access to these burial grounds. They will also have the right to clean water, electricity, the right not to be denied access to educational services and the right to have reasonable access to pathways across the land.
… to be continued – Lloyd Phillips.
Contact Rob McCarthy on 033 266 6170, 083 274 1232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The views expressed in our weekly opinion piece do not necessarily reflect those of Farmer’s Weekly. Reprinted with permission.