Development

How much compensation will I receive?

It is impossible to offer a suggestion as to the likely claim value before a full investigation has been conducted, however the sums received should reflect the loss of value to a development and are therefore often very substantial. There are numerous factors to consider in the valuation, which include; sterilised area due to apparatus, additional Public Open Space (“POS”) than if the apparatus wasn’t present, injurious effect on adjacent land and dwellings, added s106 costs incurred due to additional POS. Justification as to why POS is still required over and above that sterilised by the apparatus, additional construction costs incurred and other factors previously mentioned in this report. We will need to understand the development land market in the given area and the value of dwellings affected.

There is a previous agreement with the electricity company. Can I still claim?

In a lot of cases, yes. Part of what we do is a no obligations review of a potential claim to confirm its eligibility, including Land registry checks and research on existing agreements. Often if we have gotten in touch with you about a site, it means we’ve already done this.

If, however it is discovered at any point after instruction that a previous agreement will prevent any further claim being made, our contract will be terminated at no fee to yourself.

The good news is that 90% of electric lines, whether overhead or underground, are held on terminable wayleaves as supposed to permanent rights. This not only means that the rights can be brought to an end but, when land changes hands, the wayleave itself comes to an end and is not automatically transferred, unless certain actions are taken. It is in these circumstances that there is the greatest opportunity in having lines relocated at the cost of the electricity company. Being armed with the knowledge that the restricting utility apparatus can be removed to enable comprehensive development could not only be a significant upside to a financial appraisal, it could also potentially mean the difference between acquiring the site or losing out to a competitor with superior knowledge.

How long does the process take?

Timescale, like value, is another matter that is very hard to predict at an early stage and will depend not only on the claim complexity, but also how the development process unfolds and what is in the best interest for the client.

Will claiming give the electricity company rights to upgrade the line?

No. The process specifically does not grant any rights to the electricity company to increase the number of cables, pylons and voltages etc.

Will the claim process be contentious with the electricity companies?

No. Electricity companies wish to avoid any significant legal costs or going to court. The preferred method is to settle claims with property owners directly. Thousands of cases have been settled in this way over the past 10 years.

Do you deal with other utilities, such as gas?

We do.

Gas pipes – With gas pipelines there is usually always permanent rights in place, however there may well be provision within a deed of easement for compensation to be paid, or a ‘lift and shift’ clause. Usually the ‘lift and shift’ clause is a once only, and therefore we would require some investigation as to whether the clause has been triggered previously. For compensation, while this may be a useful lever to finance diversion of the pipeline, the assessment of compensation is often at a historic date.

Water and sewerage pipes – If the pipes are for water or sewerage the rights to retain them in situ are very strong. Of course, there may well be a benefit in having these across a site, as they can be incorporated to serve the proposed development.

Oil pipes – Oil pipelines are generally not particularly large in diameter, and so the relevant easement often only totals six metres in width. However, there is a requirement to use best endeavours to design the development to facilitate retention of an oil pipeline.

Communications cables – It is unlikely that these would run for long distances cross country through open fields and therefore are rare in development claims. Again, the legislation varies and there is specific provision where lines are required to be relocated for development purposes, with the assumption that the developer pays, or for other circumstances where the onus can be placed on the communications operator.

How much do you charge?

Each claim will be dealt with on individual terms of business that best suit the client, we are able to offer a commission basis, time-spent or a combination. However, all claims will be subject to our no fee cancellation process should there be no receivable compensation, undergrounding or re-routing.

Pylon

There is a previous agreement with the electricity company. Can I still claim?

In a lot of cases, yes. Part of what we do is a no obligations review of a potential claim to confirm its eligibility, including Land registry checks and research on existing agreements. Often if we have gotten in touch with you about a site, it means we’ve already done this.

If, however it is discovered at any point after instruction that a previous agreement will prevent any further claim being made, our contract will be terminated at no fee to yourself.

The good news is that 90% of electric lines, whether overhead or underground, are held on terminable wayleaves as supposed to permanent rights. This not only means that the rights can be brought to an end but, when land changes hands, the wayleave itself comes to an end and is not automatically transferred, unless certain actions are taken. It is in these circumstances that there is the greatest opportunity in having lines relocated at the cost of the electricity company. Being armed with the knowledge that the restricting utility apparatus can be removed to enable comprehensive development could not only be a significant upside to a financial appraisal, it could also potentially mean the difference between acquiring the site or losing out to a competitor with superior knowledge.

Will a claim process be contentious with the utility companies?

No. Utility companies wish to avoid any significant legal costs or going to court. The preferred method is to settle claims with property owners directly. Thousands of cases have been settled in this way over the past 10 years.

How much compensation will I receive?

It is impossible to offer a suggestion as to the likely claim value before a full investigation has been conducted, however the sums received should reflect the loss of value to a property or development and are therefore often very substantial.

With regards to development cases there are numerous factors to consider in the valuation, which include; sterilised area due to apparatus, additional Public Open Space (“POS”) than if the apparatus wasn’t present, injurious effect on adjacent land and dwellings, added s106 costs incurred due to additional POS. Justification as to why POS is still required over and above that sterilised by the apparatus, additional construction costs incurred and other factors previously mentioned in this report. We will need to understand the development land market in the given area and the value of dwellings affected.

How long does the process take?

Timescale, like claim value, is a matter that is very hard to predict at an early stage and will often depend on the claim complexity and third-party factors. We do however ensure consistent client updates to allow peace of mind as to the claim’s progression.

Will entering into a permanent right with an electricity company give them the rights to upgrade the line?

No. The process specifically does not grant any rights to the electricity company to increase the number of cables, pylons and voltages etc. and if they wish to do so would need to offer further recompense.

 What are your fees?

Each claim will be dealt with on individual terms of business that best suit the client, we are able to offer a commission basis, time-spent or a combination. However, all claims will be subject to our no fee cancellation process should there be no receivable compensation, undergrounding or re-routing.