Wayleave Compensation – 5 things to know
Western Power, Yorkshire Water, Severn Trent Water, National Grid wayleave agreements can be yearly or for a fixed term of years (easements are permanent and are covered in a separate article).
Things to know and be aware of :
1. Does your land have future development potential?
If there is a possibility of your land obtaining planning consent for a change of use eg for building or for mining then it is advisable not to enter into a fixed term wayleave as this will prevent any utility apparatus from being moved out of the way during the term of the agreement (unless you pay forthe cost yourself which will most probably be expensive!).
Underground and over ground apparatus such as cables and pylons can sterilise land from future development.
2. What should you do if pylons and cables are in the way of your proposed development?
Most annual wayleaves can be terminated upon giving notice (12 months) served on the Grantee. The Grantee can apply to have the apparatus remain in situ under certain procedures eg the Utility company may apply for a Necessary Wayleave to the Secretary of State who enquires whether the parties are generally negotiating or whether a Wayleave Hearing is necessary.
It is important to include the apparatus within any planning consent you obtain to show how the scheme is affected. This then gives you the evidence that steralisation has occurred resulting in a loss of income/profit and is measurable.
3. What compensation is paid?
Ideally the agreement you have should have a “lift and shift” clause incorporated. On receiving planning consent you can then request the Guarantee to either “lift and shift” their apparatus to free up your developable area or to pay you compensation based on the loss of the development value affected by the apparatus.
The option taken by the Utility companies will depend on how much it will cost to move the infrastructure v’s compensation payable.
Surface damage compensation is payable by the Grantee (+ other heads of claim) should your land be affected by the Grantee’s works for example land drains may be damaged on and off the area of works. Land rutting, subsidence, mixing of soils and escape of livestock may also occur.
Has access been agreed and is a service compound required?
If the Grantee requires to do works on your land it is important to ensure a Statutory Notice is served on you by the Utility company which may for instance be under the Water and Electricity Acts.
This ensures all dealings with the Utility company fall under specific acts, regulations and codes thereby protecting you under legislation and you are fully indemnified.
Some requirements of the Utility company may fall outside a Statutory Notice and can be negotiated separately however reaching agreements with contractors without them working under Statutory Notice may leave you exposed to damage being caused to your land and you not being paid the correct levels of compensation or your land not being remediated satisfactory.
5. What do you do if approached by a Utility company such as Western Power, Yorkshire Water, Severn Trent Water, National Grid, United Utilities?
You may receive a letter in the post from one of these companies which may give details of works they intend to carry out. It may be specific and be served under a Statutory Notice with a plan showing how they intend to take access and what infrastructure they intent to install.
The Notice period gives you sufficient time to consider what is being proposed and to liaise with the case officer to ensure the works are carried out with minimal disturbance.
Utility companies pay your surveyors fees (and legal fees if legal documents are required) and therefore it is advisable to seek advice from Chartered Surveyors, Land Agents and Valuers to assess the proposed scheme and to ensure you are dealt with properly ensuring the work creates the least amount of damage and that you are fully compensated and your land fully restored.
NB – make sure a detailed schedule of condition (with photographs) is taken prior to the contractors taking entry.
At Miller & Miller we have extensive knowledge of all the issues associated with Utility works and are able to help you resolve any issue you may have.
Please feel free to contact us anytime should you have an issue you wish to discuss. We are here to help on TEL: 0114 327 0120