Wayleaves, Easements & Compulsory Purchase
Symonds & Sampson LLP regularly negotiate with Statutory undertakers and service providers on behalf of farmers and landowners. Many such bodies enjoy legal rights of access onto private land for the installation, repair, replacement and maintenance of pipelines, cables and fixtures. These undertakers are obliged to pay compensation to the landowner in accordance with the relevant legislation. Other bodies rely on negotiating with landowners, and are liable to pay higher compensation. The companies are always liable to pay compensation for losses or damage caused directly by their works.
We regularly deal with Telecommunication Companies and their agents for the erection of telecommunication masts. Invariably we find that the company has approached clients direct, and a financial offer made which is often considerably lower than market value. Our knowledge of rental values across the Wessex Region ensures that we have the most up to date evidence in order to negotiate a full rent on behalf of clients. Agreements need to consider not only the rent payable but also rent reviews, length of term, break clauses, site sharing, compensation for damage caused during erection of the masts and site clearance on termination of the agreed term.
Water Companies install and renew pipelines across the Wessex region for the provision of main water and disposal of sewage. Often these works are within land adjoining urban centres, where the land has a higher value and the presence of pipes may inhibit future development. Sites are also being acquired or extended for waste water treatment facilities, with pressure on these companies to improve the quality of outfalls. Careful planning and advice is essential for landowners at an early stage.
Oil Companies operate within small areas of the Wessex region, seeking new reserves of crude oil, providing suitable pumping facilities and oil pipelines for its conveyance to refining facilities.
Despite cutbacks in local funding, County Councils and the Highways Agency are still undertaking road improvement schemes and new road facilities within our region. These schemes may involve the loss of land, the severance of land from an agricultural holding, disturbance during construction or interference after completion. Compensation may be payable to affected landowners and occupiers.
Electricity Companies erect new lines and refurb the existing overhead cable systems, for which they require access to private land. Planning of the work is essential to avoid contractors taking entry to land when crops are growing, when stock are present or when the ground is waterlogged. Furthermore, the pylon infrastructure is often used for the siting of fibre optic cables, to be used for telecommunications and the spread of digital television services.
The Environment Agency and Local Authorities review existing flood defence systems and associated flood alleviation schemes. Representation will ensure that such schemes are carefully planned, so that their effect on private property is minimised and adequate compensation is claimed to cover losses suffered during, and as a result of, any works.