Are you in line for some unclaimed wayleave payments?

21 August 1998

Are you in line for some unclaimed wayleave payments?

By Robert Davies

MILLIONS of £s are being forfeited by farmers in unclaimed wayleave payments, claims a Shropshire land agent.

Landowners should forget the National Lottery and football pools and check their wayleave agreements with utility companies for possible jackpots, says Philip Meade of Davis Meade and Partners in Oswestry.

"We are acting for dozens of owners whose claims range from £50 to £20,000. Back rents over six years can be claimed and we estimate that the total sum involved nationally is enormous."

There are many reasons why claims are not made. Land may change hands, leaving new owners ignorant of wayleave entitlements. Or utilities can miss payments by mistake, and may forget to reinstate them.

Some landowners do not realise they can claim for telephone and electricity poles erected on verges of unclassified roads adjacent to their land.

"And there is often confusion about whether rents have been converted into a one-off capital sum. A check costs nothing and it is certainly worth doing."

Mr Meade, who works as a consultant for the Farmers Union of Wales, is also encouraging members to consider capitalising payments. Utilities are given notice to quit, leaving them no option but to invoke compulsory purchase powers and begin negotiations.

The FUW has warned members about potential losses. "For an industry in crisis any extra income is a lifeline. Farmers and landowners have a legal right to these payments and we are strongly advising them to claim them in full. Unclaimed payments are a national problem and we would urge all farmers to check that they are not missing out." &#42

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