Land Acquisition and Compensation (Amendment) Bill: Final Stage

Part of Executive Committee Business – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 7:00 pm on 15th March 2016.

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Photo of Michelle McIlveen Michelle McIlveen DUP 7:00 pm, 15th March 2016

Thank you, Mr Speaker. I am grateful to Members who have contributed to the debate. As others have said, I believe that the Bill will ensure that land and property owners in Northern Ireland will be compensated on a fairer basis and on the same basis as their counterparts in England and Wales. Land being taken is not easy under any circumstances, and it is particularly difficult for landowners. I want to recognise that. However, I hope that this goes, in some small way, towards helping those landowners as they move forward in the future.

I, again, thank the Chairman and the members of the Committee for Regional Development and all Assembly Members for their cooperation during the passage of the Bill.

I pay tribute to outgoing members of the Committee who have decided not to stand for election again, in particular my party colleague Stephen Moutray, my constituency colleague David McNarry, and John Dallat, for their contributions to the Committee. It would be remiss of me, given that he is here this evening, not to pay tribute — although he was not a member of the Regional Development Committee during my time — to my friend Kieran McCarthy. We served on Ards Borough Council together, and we have been friends throughout. He has been my colleague in the constituency for over 10 years. I will miss his contribution, but, of course, that is dependent upon whether I get back to this House myself. I will miss his friendship.

In conclusion, I commend the Land Acquisition and Compensation (Amendment) Bill to the House.