Landowners could be owed thousands in pylon damage and disturbance -compensation, says Robert Moore, rural practice surveyor at George F White
The majority of electricity pylons are in place under a temporary right (a wayleave agreement) between the landowner and electricity distributor. The landowner in turn receives an annual payment which is deemed to reflect the detrimental impact to agricultural activities that pylons have by being on or over their land. However, electricity distributors may offer one-time payments to obtain permanent rights to keep pylons on land, which many landowners take without realising just how much extra compensation they’re entitled to.
Our company’s research shows that, overall, the compensation amount payable should be much higher than the current amounts being issued for permanent rights. Electricity distributors often capitalise annual wayleave payments, meaning landowners receive a one-off imbursement that, as our research has revealed, is a lot less than what they should be getting.
There is nothing within the legislation that states capitalising annual wayleave payments is the set way to assess compensation. By doing so, the landowner fails to benefit from being compensated for the actual loss in capital value and that includes failing to address the impact of pylons on residential and commercial property as well as development opportunities. In simple terms, if there are two identical houses – one with a pylon in the garden and the other without – the one with the pylon is clearly going to be worth less. It is this loss in value which needs assessing.
I urge landowners who are considering granting permanent rights to electricity distributors to consider very carefully whether the offer on the table is truly reflective of the loss in value to the property as, once a permanent right is handed over and a compensation amount agreed, it’s too late to look back.