I’m not sure any compensation that might be liable is to cover maintenance costs. It seems to cover any costs incurred in preparing for the work and presumably the loss in value of the land if development is prevented. I can’t see why volunteers would need to pay a private company to look after their own property, but I can see why said private company may want compensation for the perceived loss in value. Although we are taking about heavily contaminated land with no build zones on it and no planning permission for further development as things stand. All we are talking about really, is replacing some gasholders with wasteland. I’m not even clear if they are going to clean up the site, which probably means they are not.
Obviously, the threat of compensation is something of a threat to proper decision making, especially with council budgets so strained atm. Which is unfortunate, as it would appear to encourage the council to make decisions they may not have otherwise made, purely on financial grounds.
In any case, compensation would only be liable if the council removed permitted development rights through an Article 4 Direction and refused an application made within 12 months of the date of that direction.
I’d be happy to chip in myself and I daresay there are some other interested groups outside of this forum who may have fundraising capabilities. But I don’t think that is the most pressing issue atm really. That is buying time to actually be able to discuss the issue and publicise it, so the community can be informed and consulted prior to a decision being taken.