A large proportion of agricultural land will have some form of utility apparatus passing through, be it water pipelines, gas pipelines, electricity/BT poles or pylons. There are generally rights granted to each separate utility company to install, maintain, repair and renew this apparatus, however the rights of each company vary drastically, with most being governed by historic pieces of legislation.
As property occupiers, it is imperative that you know your own rights and how to manage the particular scheme impacting your land. From a seemingly simple burst pipe repair, to a full new mains gas or water pipeline installation, factors such as timings of the work, access to the site, the services required by contractors, the installation of compounds or welfare areas, fencing, drainage, the removal of excess spoil, the final site re-instatement and the on-going Wayleave or Easement all need to be considered and it is never too early to start this process.
In terms of compensation, in most circumstances, the statutory position is to leave you in no better or no worse position, had the scheme never occurred. For most agricultural occupiers, the compensation will include payments for any land taken permanently, any crop losses which have occurred including losses of grass, re-statement of the land after the works have been completed and any additional disturbances including losses of BPS, fencing repairs and drainage. A major factor that you as the property occupier can also claim for is your own time, as it is always surprising how long you can spend dealing with such schemes.
Whether you require assistance with the smallest of pipe bursts or the undergrounding of electricity cables across a full farm, contact us for advice.