Utilities compensation - Services - Gateley

Utilities compensation

Gateley Hamer

Development opportunities can often be constrained by utilities apparatus. Maximising the value and development potential of these sites is achievable and commercially viable.

The majority of our work is undertaken on behalf of developers, promoters and landowners to overcome utility constraints. In most cases involving electricity infrastructure, our team is able to pass the cost of diverting or under-grounding on to the utility company. Otherwise, if the overhead line and pylons remain in situ, we negotiate compensation on loss of development value, based on the difference between development value with the line, versus development value without the line. The starting point for all of our instructions is to identify the legal basis on which the utility apparatus exists, and from there we are able to assess the options.

The majority of our work relates to electricity apparatus but we also deal with gas, water, oil and telecoms apparatus as well.

Many developers obtain a quotation to divert lines from the utility company as a matter of course, and then seek to reduce the quote by as much as possible. We flip this process on its head and review the legal basis on which the apparatus exists, then use statutory procedures to pass the whole cost to the utility company, regularly saving our clients multi-millions.

What do we do?

We know all too well that existing utility apparatus – like overhead electricity lines, underground cables, gas pipes and telecommunications equipment – can throw a real spanner in the works when it comes to developing or buying land. It can also limit the value and development potential of that land. But the UK desperately needs more homes. That’s why we’re committed to empowering developers to capitalise on statutory processes to open up those development opportunities.  

We’ve successfully negotiated such agreements for developers across the UK, securing more than £100 million in compensation paid to developers and over £300 million in increased gross development value by freeing up land from utilities. The process is straightforward and we are there to guide you every step of the way.

  1. Our experienced team carries out a thorough review of the rights held by the utility company, including wayleaves, easements, leases and licence agreements.
  2. We investigate potential ways to divert, underground or remove utility apparatus at minimal cost – or to agree enhanced rights for keeping the apparatus in place.
  3. We carry out appraisals to identify the loss caused by the presence of the apparatus.
  4. We either negotiate compensation to offset the cost of diverting apparatus, or seek to negotiate compensation to reflect lost development value if the apparatus stays in place.

Our team can also provide accredited expert witness testimony and is frequently called on to give advice based on our in-depth knowledge of valuation and the matrix of legal and engineering issues.

Who do we help?

We help developers and landowners to get the maximum value from their land.

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