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Utility company access rights warning

Landowners with equipment operated by utility companies, such as electricity pylons, based on their property, should check their rights or face potential disruption to business.

Helen Clutterbuck, solicitor in the Litigation & Dispute Resolution team at regional law firm Napthens, explains that utility companies can generally use a number of legal rights which allow them to enter land.

These include their statutory rights, easements – a permanent right registered against the deeds of a property, or simply an arrangement with the landowner.

Helen warns that landowners unsure of their rights relating to existing equipment, or who have been approached regarding the installation of new equipment, should consult an expert.

She said: “Ultimately, utility companies may enter land to carry out repairs on equipment, but this doesn’t mean landowners don’t have rights too.

“Pylons aren’t necessarily in the middle of a remote field, and work of this nature could be highly disruptive to a business which operates from the land.

“It may affect access to the land, or the use of the land itself, and if this is likely to be the case, it’s important to get the correct advice before allowing anything to go ahead.

“Landowners who may be confused about their rights, or who have been approached regarding the siting of equipment on their land, should take legal advice to check the best approach.”

If you require any further information, please contact a member of the Litigation & Dispute Resolution team.