Q&As

A statutory undertaker requires a right to lay cables across land. The land owner is insisting on what the statutory undertaker regards as unreasonable consideration. Does the statutory undertaker have compulsory purchase powers to acquire an easement or wayleave?

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Published by a LexisPSL Property expert
Last updated on 29/07/2016

The following Property Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • A statutory undertaker requires a right to lay cables across land. The land owner is insisting on what the statutory undertaker regards as unreasonable consideration. Does the statutory undertaker have compulsory purchase powers to acquire an easement or wayleave?
  • Electricity Act 1989
  • Compulsory acquisition
  • Acquisition of wayleaves
  • Further guidance

A statutory undertaker requires a right to lay cables across land. The land owner is insisting on what the statutory undertaker regards as unreasonable consideration. Does the statutory undertaker have compulsory purchase powers to acquire an easement or wayleave?

Electricity Act 1989

Section 10(1) of the Electricity Act 1989 (EA 1989) provides two methods for electricity supply companies (which are licence holders under EA 1989) to obtain rights over land. The first is by compulsory acquisition of the necessary land or rights under EA 1989, Sch 3. The second is by acquisition of a ‘necessary wayleave’, pursuant to EA 1989, Sch 4.

For further information, see Practice Note: Statutory wayleaves and rights of access.

Compulsory acquisition

Schedule 3 incorporates, with important adjustments, provisions of Part I of the Compulsory Purchase Act 1965. EA 1989, Sch 3, para 1 provides:

'…the Secretary of State may authorise a licence holder to purchase compulsorily any land required for any purpose connected with the carrying on

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