Necessary Wayleave Application Receives Review by BEIS

Eastern Power Networks, as the holder of a distribution licence issued under section 6(1)(c) of the Electricity Act 1989, has agreed terms with a landowner over which electric overhead lines pass, having applied under paragraph 6(2) of schedule 4 for the grant of a necessary wayleave.

The electric lines installed had historically been the subject of (since expired) wayleave agreements and no wayleave agreement had been extant immediately prior to EPN's application.

A purported, 'composite notice' to terminate a wayleave and to remove electric lines had been received by EPN, which subsequently applied for the necessary wayleave. EPN had disputed the validity of this 'composite notice', and in response to the landowner's subsequent claim that EPN's later application for a necessary wayleave was 'out-of-time', relied on the position that the date of a notification (for the purposes of schedule 4 to the Act) is not to be treated as the date stated in the notice, but instead the date on which the notice is eventually given to the utility company by on behalf of the landowner (if later). It had therefore been incorrect to treat the date of notice given to the licence holder, by the landowner - from which date, the 3 months stated under paragraph 8(3) is calculated to run - as being the date stated in the notice, instead of the date when notice is given to the licence holder (if later). The language of paragraph 8(2) includes the language of "give notice", consistently with this interpretation of schedule 4.

In adopting this position regarding the validity-related provisions of schedule 4, EPN had been aligned with BEIS in its decision to allow the progression of the necessary wayleave application, through to public inquiry in the light of the landowner's objection. The public inquiry has since been vacated through agreement of the parties.

Juan Lopez acted on behalf of Eastern Power Networks