Mark Ferguson will negotiate compensation from utility companies on behalf of landowners, tenants or developers to negotiate the removal of the utility infrastructure or for significant compensation to be paid if it must stay. The removal, diverting or undergrounding of existing utility apparatus, enables developments to be delivered, mostly at a fraction of the cost quoted by the utility operator.

We are able to help our clients reach the full development potential of their land by finding the best solution, whether it be diverting, undergrounding or removing utility apparatus at minimum cost (potentially £nil cost), or alternatively agreeing to enhanced rights for the retention of the equipment.

Electricity Apparatus – We provide advice concerning electrical apparatus such as substations, underground cables, pylons, wood poles, etc, as these often have the largest effect on development value. We are able to exercise our in-depth knowledge to best navigate the many unusual quirks and pitfalls for the unwary relating to the legislation surrounding electricity lines contains.

Gas pipes – With gas pipelines there are 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 the development projects. 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.