We have acquired considerable experience over many years acting in connection with the specialised areas of utilities, communications and compulsory purchase law. This includes the important insight that comes from actually working on behalf of water and electricity companies, local authorities and a government agency in respect of a full range of transactions and compensation claims.
Power and water companies have certain statutory powers to lay and retain pipes and cables through privately-owned land, and rights of access in order to carry out works. Understanding the extent of these powers and rights is very important, particularly when it comes to proposed new works and compensation that may be payable to the landowner.
Mobile phone companies and other "communications" providers do not have similar powers, at present, but they do have very strong protection for communications' equipment that has been installed on private property that land-owners are often not aware of and which can prove very problematic when it comes to any development plans. These need to be properly understood and taken into account before entering into any lease or licence with a communications' provider for the installation of any equipment.
The field of compulsory purchase law is very complicated, with the rules relating to making objections and compensation payments, in particular, requiring a genuinely thorough and specialist understanding. Some of the matters that we have successfully advised in respect of include:
- a compulsory purchase order relating to a flood alleviation scheme in West Sussex on behalf of a government agency
- compensation payments payable to landowners who had their land compulsorily acquired for the regeneration of the Ropetackle site in Shoreham
- the acquisition of rights for new pumping stations and electricity sub-stations
- the compulsory acquisition of rights of way by a local authority to facilitate a major urban regeneration proposal