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Rights over land and compensation

Rights over land and compensation Alex Rew of Stags Professional Services offers advice to anyone approached by companies requiring access over their private land.

There seems to be an increasing number of reasons for land and property owners to be contacted by public and private companies wanting access or rights over land.

These approaches can be for traditional services such as water, gas, electricity or sewage, or can be driven by ever-present new housing schemes, or the new roads required to service them. Sometimes it can be that land is needed to widen an existing road, or access is required to fix a leaking gas main.

Equally, solar parks require cables linking back to power lines and there are also private companies linking up with councils to provide improved broadband services, or erect a new mast under the Electronic Telecommunications Code.

In the majority of these cases the “acquiring bodies” have legal rights of access for the installation, repair, renewal and maintenance of these pipelines or cables. Their rights vary but generally compensation is due to the landowner for any new rights, plus further compensation for any damage caused when carrying out the works or for loss of productivity etc. 

As agents, not only can we at Stags negotiate the financial settlement on your behalf, but we can also assist by ensuring additional clauses are introduced to protect the landowners’ interests. For example, a “lift and shift” clause may be appropriate if there is a chance of future development over or near the cable. Or, a re-alignment of the proposed route might be negotiated if the one proposed impinges on an accessway, causes future waterlogging concerns, or even threatens an old oak tree that is wanting to be retained.

Better still our fees as agents – and often reasonable solicitor’s fees - are paid for by the acquiring authority so representation comes free of charge.

If you are in Devon, Cornwall, Somerset or Dorset and have been affected by any of these issues, or have recently been contacted by someone who wants rights over your property, please feel free to contact your local professional for advice.