Utilities – working to protect your interests

Utilities – working to protect your interests   

When faced with utility companies needing to work on your land –  your agent’s costs are usually covered by the utility company.

This means you have access to professional advice at an early stage, which can help reduce the hassle and stress when works are needed and can improve the outcome.

Utilities companies operate under a strict legislative framework with a separate piece of legislation for each utility. They are also obliged to protect any affected landowners and occupiers, generally covering the cost of using an agent to represent you.

We are involved in a large variety of projects across Scotland and Northern England, ranging from new installations, tree trimming under pole lines, inspections of pipelines, bursts or maintenance issues and annual losses from historic works. We manage the financial compensation side of the process, any accommodation works (measures put in place to mitigate the impact of the project) and the practical management of contractors and operators working on your ground.

50 mile (81km) new Pylon line in Argyll: One of the major projects we’re currently involved in, is the installation of a new pylon line across Argyll, from Inveraray to Crossaig.

We have been working on the background to this project since 2014, with the last two and a half years involving detailed discussions around how SSE would acquire the rights, the practical implications of the pylon positioning and the roads and infrastructure as well as our clients rights (both landowner and tenant).

Clients have a variety of issues from managing the installation’s conflict with existing land uses of forestry, renewables and farming, through topographical and climate challenges to the nuances of protecting hefted and acclimatised flocks and herds.

Our input has allowed clients to vary routes and to undertake practical planning and mitigation in advance of the project to minimise disruption and losses where possible. Our expertise and knowledge in, for example, the impacts on hefted flocks, sterilisation of land, heritage and long term forest management plans, has enabled us to work with SSE to put in place measures to protect our clients and draw up compensation agreements reflecting the unintended consequences as well as the obvious losses.

Now that the first part of the project build is underway, we are in a position to monitor the progress on the ground and ensure agreements are adhered to.

Getting us involved early on in any project is best, but we can work on existing issues as well. If you have any future (or current) utility work issues, a phone call to us can save you money and stress in the longer term.  Find out more from your local D&R office.

Article by Hannah Melville

Hannah Melville




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