It is a reality that a substantial part of the utilities infrastructure required for Scotland's villages, towns and cities rely on large networks of pipes and cables which pass across or under privately owned land. When it is time for these essential utilities to be upgraded, replaced or renewed its important that the owners or occupiers of the land have their rights properly represented to avoid the detrimental effects of a utility scheme on rural property, and ensure the day to day farming operations are not impacted either during construction or on a permanent basis.
By enlisting CKD Galbraith to oversee a scheme and prepare subsequent compensation claims the working relationship between claimants and utility companies can be made easier to the benefit of both parties.
Land Agents can become involved at any time during the scheme but are generally brought in once it is time to prepare a compensation claim on a farmer's behalf. These claims are to redress the losses caused during and following the completion of the works. However, the firm believes that some farmers and landowners are not often aware that the cost of their agent's fees can also be met as part of the claim.
The ideal time to get an agent engaged is during the early stages so all practical measures to mitigate the consequences of the scheme are agreed before works commence. During the planning stage of a scheme there will be a revolving door of people involved including project managers, contractors and sub-contractors visiting site. Having an experienced agent on site to monitor discussions during the early stages should help to protect your position and your property once works commence and ensure that works are carried out to the agreed specification.
It can be an uncomfortable watch for farmers as third party contractors take access to their land, the land will very rarely be put back the way it was. The effect on soil structure, field drains, fencing, and time lost when dealing with contractors can all take their toll. Farmers are encouraged to keep in contact with their agent throughout the works and especially prior to the reinstatement process, to ensure it is properly carried out either by the contractors arranged by the utility provider or their own preferred contractor. It may take a number of years before the land truly recovers, and if so any subsequent crop loss or drop in production of the land can be built into future claims providing sufficient evidence of loss can be proven.
CKD Galbraith has over 40 years of specialist experience in advising farmers and land owners on utility schemes. The firm combine's expert local knowledge with national experience of providing advice on major utility projects including; overhead, underground and submarine cables, pipelines, road schemes and telecommunications throughout Scotland and the North of England.