Enniscorthy lawyer in warning to farmers over compulsory purchase of land for wells

John G. Murphy
John G. Murphy

An Enniscorthy-based lawyer has urged farmers and landowners to tread carefully when local authorities seek compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) on their land in order to put in wells.

Solicitor John G. Murphy of John A Sinnott & Co Solicitors told the Wexford People that farmers should seek advice during negotiations.

A number of farmers have “experienced local authorities acquiring, either by agreement or by compulsory purchase order, portions of their land in which to drill a borehole and put in a well, designed to augment local public water supplies”, he said.

However, Mr Murphy warned that farmers “are now faced with a much more structured regulatory environment concerning water, the sources of water and the protection of these sources”.

He added: “What do you know for instance about the quality or lack of quality of the well that has been put in place on your land? Do you know anything about exclusion zones?”

Because of various EU directives transposed into Irish law, Mr Murphy said the installation of a well could pose problems for farmers.

He explained: “What account have you taken of a potential exclusion zone? This is a zone which can be imposed on you and which could be anything up to 200m or more in diameter, where for instance you could be excluded from spreading any fertiliser.

“What effect would this have on your farming operations? These are items which need very, very careful consideration and evaluation before any compensation package is concluded with Irish Water or a local authority in relation to the acquisition of any portion of your farm.”

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