The right of access to land is granted through a Land Right which can be a personal agreement such as a wayleave or a permanent right to land, known as an easement.
Utility companies require land rights to install and maintain or renew equipment on privately owned land, they are essential for ensuring the delivery and maintenance of vital public services to homes, businesses, and communities.
All land rights must be in place before a utility company can install and energise a connection to the network. Land rights are not needed when the equipment is on a public highway or on land laid out to form part of a public highway.
What is a wayleave?
A wayleave is an agreement between a landowner or occupier and the third party, permitting the third party to access land to carry out works for an agreed compensation amount. Wayleave agreements may be temporary or permanent, depending on the nature of the utility infrastructure and the needs of the utility provider. Wayleaves are made with landowners and are not registered against the land title.
What is an easement?
An easement is a right someone holds over land owned by somebody else. These are attached to the land and are normally created by deed. They may also be registered on the title and held by the Land Registry. The landowner will include a right of access for inspection, maintenance and future operations.
For example, an easement may grant a power company the right to run overhead power lines across a portion of land or to place electrical cables beneath it. These easements are typically recorded in public records, so they are known to future property owners and are legally binding.
How soon can you obtain a wayleave or wayleave?
The time it takes to obtain a wayleave or easement can vary and for more complex projects it can take considerably longer.