hole in hedge made by car

Have you suffered from a vehicle crashing through your boundary fence or hedge?

One of our clients regularly finds a car has crashed through his hedge. It has spun of the road whilst passing through some bad bends – unsuccessfully! After client has carried out temporary stock proofing repairs, he calls me. I then attend and pursue the drivers insurance company. The inconvenience of picking up the broken plastic and glass, getting rid of the snapped off hedge and sometimes pulling the car out with his tractor is now not so painful. We have negotiate a detailed claim on behalf of the landowner.

With road safety measures whilst repairs are undertaken, new hedge planted, all debris removed, the farmers time, our time etc. etc. it is not so much a means of making a profit, but more a case of fairly recovering all the costs for the inconvenience caused by an unfortunate driver. Most farmers and landowners ‘take on the chin’ because they don’t have the time or the means to pursue the claim.

We do have the time, experience and tenacity to pursue these claims for you on a ‘No settlement, No fee’ basis and if we are successful, the insured parties’ insurer will cover our charges to you too.

If you have suffered from the above and have any details as to who caused the accident, why not give us a call and let us do the rest?

Have you as an owner or occupier of land been asked to allow access for ‘resilience works’ by your local electricity network operator or National Grid?

If so, do bear in mind what it is they are asking for. ‘Resilience work’ is the trimming or felling of trees and other vegetation that is perfectly lawfully within the vicinity of their apparatus that could in time cause problems to the line. Electricity companies’ statutory rights to trim back such vegetation are very limited.

Obviously trimming back vegetation, a relatively short distance from the line, will mean that it will soon grow back and the electricity company will have to revisit and trim again, at its own expense. If the electricity company is allowed to trim back more that it has a right to, or even to ground level, they save £’000’s and your view of the apparatus increases.

The simple solution is to not allow ‘Resilience Works’ without a payment to you being made in return. We can assist with negotiating your case and what is more, the electricity company will indemnify our costs of being represented! Meaning we work for you, maximise the payment to you and the electricity pays!

Please get in touch for more details.

M M Ferguson BSc, MRICS
[email protected]
mobile 07789 798879
Direct 0116 2188137

photo of resilience round telegraph poles
a menage under construction

Calling all Equestrians…

Currently we have five planning applications and construction projects on for local equestrians. Menages and American barn type projects are very popular at the moment. The projects range from a standalone 50m x 25m all weather menage in the grounds of a Grade II listed property to a 60m x 40m with stable barn, horse walker, landscaping works and access track for an Eventer, and so far, planning permissions have not been too onerous to secure.

Our services extend to not only dealing with the planning application, but also designing the whole project to meet clients’ current and foreseeable needs, providing the scale drawings, tender documents, negotiation for anything from tree surgeon quotes to clear the site to the cost to supply and erect the building, internals stable partitions, mezzanine floors, horse walkers etc and of course the design and provision of the menage. With that all done, we even manage the construction through to competition and landscaping.

If you have are thinking about investing in such a development, please get in touch. Even when everything runs smoothly, it is realistically a 6 – 9 month project by the time designs have been finalised, planning consent secured and reliable trusted contractors and suppliers brought to site to do their bit.

Talking of reliable and trusted contractors. I can whole heartedly recommend Eckland Lodge Developments to supply and erect the buildings and carry out all ground works as I can Baseworks Limited for constructing the menage from start to finish. Both have proven to be highly competitive with their prices and very willing to go that bit further to ensure client satisfaction.

If you have any planning related matters in mind, please call Mark Ferguson Ltd (07789 798879) and let us advise as to what can be achieved for you.

Capitalisation payments from national Grid and regional network operators.

We speak to a lot of residential and landowners whose property accommodates electricity transmission apparatus and discuss how our negotiated settlements are formulated. These settlements usual comprise a capitalisation of current wayleave payments plus a certain percentage of the property value depending on how far the apparatus and what it is, is away from the dwelling. It is always disappointing to hear that the  National Grid and other operators have purges of writing out to property owners offering them a few hundred pounds as a ‘one’off’ payment in return for a Deed of Easement or Servitude (in Scotland) when we would expect in the vast majority of cases several thousands of pounds for our clients. The example I heard last week was an offer from National Grid for £250, when we have recently secured a settlement of £5000 for exactly the same circumstances on a neighbouring property. The unfortunate thing is, once the £250 type settlements have been accepted and paid – there is nothing the landowner can do to reverse the transaction.

If you have any land or property affected by electrical apparatus, please call us and let us advise as to what can be achieved for you.

New National Grid Lines

The Great Grid Upgrade as National Grid are calling it will have significant effects on the
landscape through which it passes and more particularly it will adversely affect the amenity,
views and re-sale values of the residential properties and agricultural land that
accommodate the pylons and oversailing lines.

Current schemes that are being planned include; Chesterfield to Willington, Coggeshall to
Fairstead, Spalding across the River Welland to The Wash, Grimsby to Barnoldby Le Beck,
Barnoldby le Beck to North Thoresby, North Thoresby to Alvingham and Keddington,
Alvingham to Tothill, Tothill to Cumberworth, Cumberworth to Burgh Le Marsh, Burgh Le
Marsh to Midvile, Midvile to River Witham, River Witham to River Welland, River Welland to
B1165, B1165 to Walpole, Eastern Greenlink 3 and Eastern Greenlink 4 (EGL 3) and EGL 4,
Norwich to Tilbury, East Anglia Green Energy Enablement, Bamford to Twinstead and
Grimsby to Walpole.

National Grid are under increasing pressure to meet the Country’s ever growing power
demands but in doing so their investments do and will cause varying degrees of depreciation
to the land or property owners’ assets that the apparatus crosses. We can assist potentially
and actually affected property owners and negotiate ‘Injurious Affection’ (I.A) claims for the
losses suffered. We see that National Grid are writing out to potential effected parties
offering sums of money. Frankly those figures are derisory compared to what a careful and
sensibly drafted I.A claim should generate. You are entitled to object to any such scheme but
if it goes ahead, you are equally entitled to maximise your benefits / compensation for the
given circumstances.

Please do not hesitate to call if you do own a property that is threatened by new power lines.

Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG)

The Environment Act 2021 makes a minimum of 10% biodiversity net gain (BNG) mandatory for all new development in England from February 2024.

What this means is; Developers will be required as part of their Master planning and planning application to; i) have the ecological status of any would-be site independently assessed, to identify the number of points or credits that will be lost due to the development ii) Seek to identify opportunities to retain and enhance ecology within the developed site as part of the Master Planning and iii) Enter into a legally binding agreement (as part of the s106) with an approved provider of Ecological credits (off site) that will replace 110% of the credits/points being lost. These three stages take place alongside the normal planning process. Planning consent will NOT be granted unless a satisfactory means of providing the 110% Ecological enhancement has been legally secured.

Securing the Ecological enhancement with a third party, as mentioned above forms part of the s106 agreement. What it actually means is that the provider of those credits has had his land surveyed and the existing ecological status quantified. An assessment has been made and an agreement secured with the local planning authority, as to how a certain 30-year management regime of the land to be ecologically enhanced can be achieved. When the developer and the landowner/credit provider have agreed a price per credit, the contract is signed. Once paid for, the developer has met his obligations, the credit provider has his payment and the 30-year management plan is implemented. The credit provider has sold nothing more than a legally binding obligation to manage his land in a certain way. There is no sale of the land, no rights of access for the developer or the public. The only access requirement is for the annual inspection by a Council instructed assessor to ensure that the management plan has been implemented.

The types of management plans that might be accepted are varied and a qualified Ecologist will be able to suggest the most efficient and appropriate plan to adopt, but they are based on grassland, hedgerow, lake, woodland and water course improvements/altered management. The assessment as to existing and future ecological status is carried out via a statutory matric tool, in other words it is more specific and less prone to variation than if it were based on an individual ecologist’s personal assessment.

The initial costs of assessing the potential of selling credits to benefit your own land, as landowner/ credit provider are fairly modest. There will be two ecologist reports required, the first to assess the base level (existing) ecological status and the second, how to achieve ecological enhancement given the base level, and how many credits should be created and therefore saleable. Once the later is known, the ecologists’ recommendation can be put to the local planning authority, who will assess it and should adopt it. A model of the relevant section of their standard s106 agreement will then need to be approved by your solicitor. You are then ready to sell credits on the open market. The market is very immature at the moment, but it is anticipated that credits will sell for between £30,000 – 40,000 each. On one of my sites, a 120 acre pasture has been assessed to be worth 98 credits and on another 112 acre site, 257 credits. The financial rewards are at this stage, compared to the costs of implementing the management plan simply staggering.

We offer a very straightforward and low cost service to assist any would-be credit provider investigate this fantastic opportunity. We can provide competitive Ecologists’ quotes for the credit provider to pay, and deal with all of the in initial administration that is required to pull this scheme together and subject to the scheme being approved by the local authority, charge a pre-agreed, success related commission, followed by a brokering commission for selling the credits. Alternatively, we can finance the ecology reports at our risk, in return for an enhanced success related commission.

There is very little risk from investigating this opportunity. However, I am quite sure that the early providers of credits will reap the best rewards from this opportunity. Once everybody hears of the massive payments for these credits, supply of credits could exceed supply, and therefore their value drop.

Please do contact me if you are at all interested in this opportunity.