National Grid are looking to underground sections of their overhead towers to improve visual impact – are you affected?
The countryside is crossed with Utility Wayleaves and Easements especially electricity pylons/ cables and associated infrastructure, not least by National Grid’s huge lattice pylon network which are the “arteries” of the country’s electricity supply.
National Grid are responsible for the distribution of electricity from the power stations to ensure sufficient “power” is supplied when needed by consumers at district level. The towers which can dominate the landscape require repair and maintenance such as regular programmes of painting and are covered normally by wayleaves (being a “temporary” agreement with annual rents and compensation payments being made to owners and occupiers affected) or by easements which is a “permanent” right with a one off capital payment having been made to the owner. Land Agent Services for Utilities are able to assess existing agreements and negotiate new ones on your behalf.
Each type of agreement gives the right for National Grid to carry out their day to day works provided they work within the boundaries defined within the agreements. Compounds are often covered separately under leases but whatever the agreement, the operator needs to work within the confinements of the terms agreed. There may be opportunities to review rental payments and negotiate separately additional temporary rights when certain operations are required to sections of the network not covered by existing agreements.
The Electricity Acts give National Grid certain powers should they need to use them but these can be an expensive and protracted procedure which are generally used as a last resort if agreement cannot be reached.
Fibre optics are also carried by the Nation Grid network and these are normally covered by a separate agreement all of which need periodically checking to ensure agreements are indeed in place and correct payments are being made. Sometimes when land is sold or re-let National Grid are not informed and continue to pay previous owners and occupiers by mistake. At Miller & Miller Utility Mapping, South Yorkshire, we can assist in checking what is on or under your land.
Agreements should address sterilisation of land should planning consent be obtained for a change of use such as for housing as National Grid should have the option to “lift and shift” their apparatus or pay loss of profit to the owner if the apparatus remains in situ. The majority of the time Nation Grid will pay compensation provided a loss can be proven rather than divert as this will probably be the most cost effective of the two.
When designing planning applications remember to design schemes as though the pylons or underground cables are not there to ensure planning consent covers the area sterilised by the apparatus. If the land is covered by easements, then lift and shift provisions may not apply due to the permanent nature of the agreement.
At Miller & Miller Utility Surveyors, South Yorkshire we can advise you on all aspects of your agreements with the various utilities to ensure you are getting the highest level of rents and compensation due.
Please contact David Miller on 0114 3270120 if you would like further information or assistance on Property Management and Utilities.