A successful claim relies on one important factor – that the electricity company which owns the offending powerlines/pylon does not already have a legal right for that equipment to be there.
Often, no such rights exist and compensation will be payable however rights may have been obtained historically over a piece of land by the electricity board purchasing those rights from the owner at the time that the power lines and pylons was erected. Typically, this would have been between the 1930’s – 1960’s. The document which grants these rights is known as a deed of grant.
When a claim is submitted, electricity companies will first check their archives for any historical deed of grant which may cover the claim property. If they have one, the claim will be rejected on the grounds that they have the necessary legal rights for their equipment.
Frustratingly, we are finding more and more that claims are being rejected on streets and in areas where claims have been successful previously because electricity companies are discovering historical deeds of grant that they obviously overlooked when previous claims were accepted. The result is that in some cases, claimants on a particular street were successfully compensated in the past but after the discovery in of a deed which covers the entire street, all subsequent claims have been rejected.
The lucky few who claimed early are legally entitled to keep their compensation of course – it is the electricity companies’ responsibility to ensure that they only pay compensation where they need to. Any such mistakes are the electricity companies’ loss.
Time is therefore of the essence if you are thinking about making a claim. What are you waiting for? Get the ball rolling now and not later. It is very disheartening having to inform a client that they cannot make a claim for this reason but that they would have been successful had they picked up the phone 12 months earlier.