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Overhead cables (moving/burying)


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  • 1 year later...

Over 1 year since my last update and some 2.5 years since we started this process - UK Power have today finally removed the overheads!


I'm not sure if this length of time is normal (covid, etc) but I thought it worth an update for anyone about to embark on something similar.

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  • 1 month later...

Hello BGMill, I hope you don't mind a request of picking your brain ....


I have a pole with an overhead cable in my garden which UKPN have quoted £40K plus VAT to reroute to underground, expecting me to pay for the digging and ducting. I have dug the trench and placed a duct because the garden was being landscaped and it would only make sense to do this work whilst the equipment etc was here. I bought the property last year and the wayleave they had expired with the sale . How do I get UKPN to pay for the whole work? I had a quote from a surveyor along a no win no fee principle of 20%plus VAT of any savings. He is very keen to do the work which tells me I should be able to do it myself .... any advice?


Thank you.

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Hi @cipn


First thing will be to serve them notice to remove their equipment on the grounds that they do not have a current Wayleave which will trigger a negotiation phase (you'll want to speak to their "Property & Consents" team in the first instance). They will likely threaten you with acquiring a compulsory wayleave from the Home Secretary but this is a lot of effort for the DNO from what I understand so they prefer to come to a deal with the land owner where possible instead.


As you're offering them an underground route as an alternative you shouldn't have a problem getting what you want but you'll need to dig your heels in and escalate things every time you get knocked back. It will probably take a while though so if you're in a hurry then paying for it might be your best option, and also be aware that to cover full costs they'll want a permanent Easement for their troubles which may affect your property value in the future depending on placement.


Good luck!

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1 hour ago, bgmill said:

underground route

It has to be ducted with their approved spec. of pipe.

Also nice straight lines with proper draw points and draw cord in place.

This sounds pedantic but I have seen cables  getting stuck so it matters to them.

I would think you will have to agree the route beforehand too.


If there is some tension in this scenario then you must do your bit exactly right.

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Thank you so much for your help guys. The duct is in place and a UKPN office has seen and approved the route before it was dug. So that should be fine. The duct is quite away from the house and a permanent easement should not be a problem. Thanks bgmill for the advice to speak to the Property and Consents team - that gives me the first practical step to undertake. 


Thanks a lot everyone and happy New Year!

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  • 1 year later...

I realise this is an old post but having just received a quote for a new supply from SSE thought I'd share.


From the quote, SSE are saying that we can't take a supply off an existing pole near our property as "LV POC off this PMT exceeds volt drop limits with new load". So they're proposing to run 430-475m from a pole a lot further away.


It's all a bit unclear whether they're using HV or LV. The written quote says 430m of LV and the drawings say 475m of 300mm XLPE HV. 


Breakdown of Charges
Description of connection charges
Connections: 1 Domestic
Lay approximately 430m of LV cable.£169,891.38
Total connection charges £169,891.38
Description of non-contestable charges
HV pole termination at WHIW E4L5 200 for new s/s tee'd
from White House PMT.

POC and Network Assessment, Design Approval (where
Final connection £7,831.11
Inspection & Monitoring £2.00
Total non-contestable charges £8,018.11

Total charge to applicant £177,909.49


Seeing how cheap it is, I might just get two!


Back to the drawing board....

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there was an episode on grand designs where they were in similar position as you, they went off grid with battery, genny and masses of gorund based solar (no planning needed) and it all worked well. obviously many many times more expensive than a normal connection but when you have no other option.

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  • 7 months later...

Good morning all, 


Appreciate this an old thread/post. 


I have recently completed a sale on a barn with planning to turn into a house. Due to start work in April.......until UKPN stepped in. There is a high voltage cable and transformer near the barn as shown in the picture.


There is a wayleave which is due to be completed/signed in the near future but this states that it could take up to 18 months to move the high voltage lines (11kv) to a new location.


With the nature of the build I can't afford to potentially wait around for 18 months as I need to start work asap. UKPN have suggested that the cables are to high voltage to shroud, but are apparently 'searching' for alternatives to protect the cables to allow work to commence. 


Questions for anyone that can help:

Has anyone ever come across this, if so did you have any genius solutions?

Are 11kv lines to dangerous to shroud or is it just UKPN being difficult?

Is it illegal to take a chance and work with scaffold or a MEWP down that elevation of the building? Is there any laws around this?


Hope someone could help as this project has hit a dead end and starting to take a toll monetary wise.


Many thanks


Screenshot 2024-03-19 094649.png

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I did find this on the internet….

Overhead line shrouding manufactured from yellow U.V. resistant material to EA43-103 standard and suitable for up to 1000 volts protection.

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LV cables are often shrouded but at 11kv, plus the transformer etc. shrouding is not practical (if it was further away you could erect a crash fence but again not possible in this case). It comes down to - how will you protect your employees and how will you protect the pole, cables, transformer etc.


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28 minutes ago, Darcy Holding said:

scaffold or a MEWP down that elevation of the building? 

Electricity jumps a long way. 

How far away is it?


Had to use fibreglass ladders on one project. Had interesting occurrences involving cranes a couple of times.


I'm sure the rules will be very clear. But there is usually a solution, albeit slower or more expensive.


Does the barn include steel? 

Are you reusing the structure?

Edited by saveasteading
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When I was doing our build I looked into the law on this as there are 11KV overhead lines across the road from us.


You will often find a statement "no building within 10 metres of overhead power lines"  When I looked into it, it turns out the 10 metres is the point where you need to start taking notice, serious notice of the lines and the actual restrictions only start at 6 metres from the lines.


We also had more than one delivery refused to use a HIAB as they deemed it too close to the lines, others just took more care knowing they would be slewing away from the lines.


Nobody is going to install insulation on a live 11KV line (like they to on a live 240V line) so even if some insulation was available it would be a shutdown of that section of line

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From memory....there is a distance at which there can be an airborne spark, depending on voltage. Find that and draw a vertical line for no-go. on site erect a marker tape there.

Inside that, nothing must be able to fall towards the power. Mewps must be very stable.

Scaffold must be tied to the structure.

Lifting zones must be worked out.

Safe handling of metal parts must be studied and controlled.


Your contractors will need supervision. I'd get them to write their own risk assesments.


Right now get reading.

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>>> There is a wayleave which is due to be completed/signed in the near future but this states that it could take up to 18 months to move the high voltage lines (11kv) to a new location.


Well you don't have to sign the wayleave unless you're very happy with it. I'm curious how UKPN 'stepped in'  - did you not initiate the contact?


The DNOs often play the 'will take a lot of time unless you want to pay for it' game. I suggest a call or two to their wayleaves department and you should be able to (a) initiate the removal (that might take forever, but it puts them on notice, and fires the starting gun) and (b) see if you can negotiate something that suits you better.


They are experienced at this game though, so you might want to 'prepare the ground' carefully and maybe consult a lawyer experienced in wayleaves and figure out how much it's worth to you.


Have you completed the sale already, as this should have been flagged by your lawyer a clear risk going in?





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