Demands to access land by utility companies has been an ongoing problem across Cheshire for many years and as planning permission continues to be granted for urban developments, it’s unlikely to reduce in the foreseeable future.
But beware – not all utilities companies play fair, as Tony Rimmer discovered while trying to help a client suffering at the hands of one of the country’s most prominent power suppliers.
He said: “I know we’ve covered this topic a number of times before in Farming Focus but people are still being caught out and not receiving the compensation and commitments they are entitled to.
“An exceptionally well-known power supplier’s charming and plausible wayleave officer – who was well aware of the client’s wish for an agent to be instructed – went ahead with an agreement to lay a temporary underground cable and then carry out works to an overhead line.
“When the client instructed us and we asked for payment for the temporary cable, said officer promptly contacted the client direct and advised that he had been given consent. The client, a thoroughly decent man, felt morally obliged to stick by his word and lost out on the level of compensation rightly due to him.
“The client had agreed to access because the utility company were keen to get started so the moral of the story is make them wait! Get your agreements in tablets of stone before allowing access.
“Remember that utility companies have to adhere to well laid-out rules and guidelines. Anybody wanting access to your land that could cause damage must provide compensation to cover the loss and damage; this includes the payment of professional fees for you to be represented.
“Early representation and expert advice is essential to ensure that you do not unwittingly limit the ability to claim.”
Please feel free to contact the Rostons Team on 01829 773000 should you have any utilities or other authorities taking access to your land.