Disputed compensation – statutory wayleave for overhead transmission line – housing development land – whether sterilisation as a consequence of presence of pylons and overhead transmission lines – no bar to housing development, but practice of house-builders at relevant date to leave corridor undeveloped – extent of areas so sterilised – Electricity Act 1989, Schedule 4.

G S Brown Construction Limited v S P Transmission Limited
30 May 2003

A wayleave under para. 6 of Schedule 4 to the Electricity Act 1989 was granted to keep installed a 275kV electricity transmission line over the claimants’ land which had been purchased for housing development and already partially developed. The transmission line had been erected some years previously but had been the subject of voluntary agreement.

The claimants asserted that areas of land within particular distances from the transmission line (so far as not already designated for landscaping) were otherwise capable of residential development but could not be sold for house-building and were thus sterilised by the presence of the pylons and lines. The respondents asserted that any disturbance was restricted to a requirement to permit access to the pylons and overhead lines. The development value of the land was agreed.

Held Although there was no actual bar to housing development within the areas covered by the claim, it was established in the particular circumstances, and on a consideration of the position at comparable sites, that the practice of house-builders at the relevant date (September 1998) was such that some corridor or ‘cordon sanitaire’ would have been left, that some land was not marketable and that accordingly there was some sterilisation in the sense contended for by the claimants. The Tribunal, however, on the evidence, restricted the extent of the claim to cover areas up to 12 metres from the centre line of the transmission lines (so far as not already designated as landscaping).

Authorities referred to:-

Venables v The Department of Agriculture for Scotland 1932 SC 573
Horn v Sunderland Corporation [1941] 2 KB 26
Turris Investments Limited v The Central Electricity Generating Board 1981 258 EG 1303
Macleod v National Grid Company plc 1998 2 EGLR 217

See full decision:  LTS/COMP/2002/2