Q&As

Would a Compulsory Purchase Order, if it were to include land on which telecommunications apparatus was installed, trump/override the rights of the relevant operator of the telecommunications equipment as under the electronic communications code? Would the answer be different once the new electronic communications code (as updated by the Digital Economy Act 2017 which was given royal assent on 27 April) comes into force?

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Published on LexisPSL on 24/05/2017

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

  • Would a Compulsory Purchase Order, if it were to include land on which telecommunications apparatus was installed, trump/override the rights of the relevant operator of the telecommunications equipment as under the electronic communications code? Would the answer be different once the new electronic communications code (as updated by the Digital Economy Act 2017 which was given royal assent on 27 April) comes into force?

Usually where land is compulsorily purchased, section 203 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 (HPA 2016) would apply. This provides the power to override easements and restrictive covenants over land if the land is:

  1. vested in or acquired by a specified authority

  2. acquired or appropriated by a local authority for a planning purpose, and

  3. developed in accordance with planning permission

However, HPA 2016, s 203 cannot be used to override rights vested in or apparatus belonging to a statutory undertaker for the purpose of carrying on its statutory undertaking, or operators of an electronic communications code network. This is apparent through HPA 2016, s 203(9) which states that:

‘(9) Nothing in this section authorises an interference with—

(a) a right of way on, under or over land that is a protected right, or

(b) a right of laying down, erecting, continuing or maintaining apparatus on, under or over land if it is a protected right.’

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