22 December 2000

Laying of cable may mean compensation

LANDOWNERS could be missing out on thousands of £s of compensation by not claiming from companies that lay cables across their land.

Installing cables often requires consent, for which compensation and consideration are payable. But when it comes to laying a cable beneath a road, verge, bridleway or public footpath, where the subsoil is retained by the landowner, some local highways authorities wrongly think they can grant consent to the cable company without reference to the landowner.

"We have been consulted by several farmers and landowners on this issue, and some cases have amounted to about £20,000," says Alison Bailey of Wilson Solicitors, Wilts.

"Many dont realise that they are eligible for compensation, and when cable companies have been challenged they have been very co-operative. I think its more of a misunderstanding rather than anything deliberate."

Landowners are advised to seek advice from their solicitor about any such work that has been, or is to be, carried out on their land. "We could be talking about substantial sums of money which could provide a valuable addition to the farm business," adds Ms Bailey. &#42