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Compensation claims can and should proceed despite upheaval

Covid-19 restrictions need not delay evidence collection in compensation claims, says Rachel Russell .

A substantial part of the country’s utility infrastructure relies on large networks of pipes and cables that pass across or under privately owned land.

When it is time for essential services to be upgraded, replaced or renewed, it’s important that the owners or occupiers have their rights properly represented. This is just as true during the current difficulties as at any other time. 

Face-to-face site meetings may be impractical or impossible, but evidence is still needed to substantiate losses so that land owners and occupiers can be fairly compensated. 

Many people with an interest in land will be due compensation for losses incurred this summer, whether it be a subsequent year claim or compensation due as a result of a recent road, rail or utility related scheme. Whilst compensation would normally be negotiated and agreed on-site, in the absence of being able to meet on site, evidence will be key. 

With the benefit of modern day technology, there is no need for negotiations and settlement to be put on hold until restrictions are lifted. By facilitating site meetings over video calls or progressing negotiations with video and photographic evidence being put forward by the claimant, compensation claims can be progressed while the Covid-19 restrictions are in place, ensuring that no claimants are out of pocket due to any delays in face-to-face meetings. 

While the current circumstances are unprecedented, the need for supporting evidence to back up a compensation claim is not a new concept, rather its importance has been heightened. 

The benefits of communication technologies apply in the rural sector as much as anywhere – more so, probably. We urge anyone who proposes to raise a compensation claim to engage the other side and start collating supporting evidence early on.