Utility Companies & Compensation

Tim Hale
By Tim Hale

October 2019

What can you do when a Utility Company want to access your land? Rural Agent Tim Hale explains the process.

Utility Companies & Compensation

Every year local authorities, government departments and utilities companies spend millions of pounds on installing, repairing and improving the infrastructure that allows this country to operate. Cables and pipelines owned by the utility companies are common place on farms and estates, however, much of this infrastructure is aging and running at full capacity and because of this, repair work and equipment upgrades are frequently required in order to keep the networks going.  Additionally, there is an increase in demand for utilities as a result of residential developments being consented.

The above issues mean that as the owner or occupier of land you are increasing likely to receive notice from a utility company stating that they plan to take access to your land to install, repair or improve infrastructure. This can be extremely frustrating, especially if you about to start harvest or they are proposing crossing the land you have earmarked for development.

Utility companies generally benefit from a range of statutory powers to enter land which have been granted to them through the Electricity Act 1989, Water Industry Act 1991 and the Gas Act 1986.   Utility companies use these powers of entry to varying degrees, the scheme must meet certain conditions and the statutory notices must be served for their powers to be effective. In most cases the legislation is used as a fall-back position should the utility company and landowner fail to come to an arrangement in regard to access.

In most cases compensation will be due to the landowner and their occupier for the work undertaken by a utilities company. They are obliged to pay compensation in accordance with the legislation that governs their particular industry.   With our comprehensive understanding of the legislation, the property market and agricultural sector, Symonds & Sampson are able to present a detailed compensation claim within the statutory framework to negotiate a satisfactory settlement for the land owner and their occupiers. In addition to this, the claimant will be compensated for our professional fees, therefore, leaving the claimant no worse off in financial term following the works.  

As experienced agents, we will ensure you receive a satisfactory settlement with minor disturbance to the day to day operation of your business. We handle all pre-scheme compensation claims for ground investigation works and should the scheme go ahead, submit a claim for land take, crop loss, severance, injurious affection and disturbance.  Additionally, our understanding of what could be agreed by negotiation can prove to be hugely beneficial when discussing accommodation works to be installed by the utility company (e.g. fencing, water supplies, access) or temporary compounds for the contactors.

Please feel free to contact Tim Hale  on 01722 334323 should you be contacted by a utility company or hear of a scheme affecting your land.  Our comprehensive Wayleaves, Easement and Compulsary Services can be found here .

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