Jvh2012

New connection - unadopted road

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Hi, I’m looking for some advice please, we are currently looking to buy a plot of land on an unadopted road. The land is the second half of a garden that is too big for the owner to maintain. We have spoken with sp energy networks who originally advised us that as we don’t know who owns the toad they would put up a motive for 28 days and if nobody cane forward we would just need to pay a £1,000 easement charge and the work could go ahead, now I have been told that they can’t do the work on the road without the owners consent. The land registry has been checked there is no owner on there. I’m currently waiting for a property on the other side of the road to check their deeds. I’m clutching at straws but hoping that someone may have been in a similar situation and managed to either get the electric laid on the unadopted road or managed to find an owner. The only other option is to go through the garden of the owner of the land but I haven’t broached that subject yet as it’s a last resort! Tia 

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I can't really help, but I had a similar situation with my road and electricity supply. We are on an unmade and unadopted road where the ownership details are lost to time. (We have an indemnity policy in case an owner ever appears and gets uppity). Of course this didn't help when I wanted to dig a trench across the road to put in a new site supply so I ended up with a pole in the front garden and an overhead cable over the road - it got around the problem nicely for me, but I guess it's not an option for you.

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When land is split it's not always the case that both parts get rights of access over unadopted or private roads. Might be more than just the electric supply you need to think about.

 

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When you need a new connection not all of it has to be done by the network owner (SP Energy). Some work they must do (non-contestable) and some you can get another company to do (contestable).

 

https://www.spenergynetworks.co.uk/pages/what_work_can_be_done.aspx

 

I wonder if another company would be less fussy about getting consent from the land owner?

 

Anything like this is a risk that should be reflected in the price paid for the plot.

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@Jvh2012 your situation sounds exactly the same as my own was.

 

My plot is half of what was the garden of the neighbouring property and it is at the end of a 100m section of unadopted lane. The neighbouring property used to be a working garden nursery and all the plot plus loads around it was covered in greenhouses and poly tunnels, it was originally the only property accessed down this lane and although the land registry shows a part of the lane at the end as belonging to the proporty, the first 100m show no owner. Although we suspect it is the adjacent property it couldn't be proven, nor could an owner be found.

 

This caused two problems:

1. Right of access.

2. Right to lay services.

 

The first issue was solved in two ways, the solicitor said a load of technical/legal stuff gave us a right of access and that an indemnity policy was not required. I took one out anyway as belts and braces protection - they are not expensive.

 

The second issue caused problems and delayed the purchase due to the electricity DNO. More on that in a second.

 

Water - they didn't care about lane ownership etc, didnt even ask or check. I paid for a new connection and they came out and put one in. There were issues trying to find the main in the lane but the point is that they dug up bits all over the lane and not once queried ownership.

 

Sewerage - the pipe conveniently ran perpendicular to the entrance way to the shared driveway. I got a company y in to put a connection in, it was in the lane but not enough to disrupt anyone. No questions of ownership or right to dig were raised.

 

BT - Again, no questions asked. There is a pole in the lane about 10m from the entrance to the driveway. I told BT Openreach that I wanted an underground connection, they supplied the pipe a d I got a cheap in with a mini digger to do the trench and laid it all myself. When BT installed the line, they ran it overhead down the line to that pole where I had put my duct and then pulled it through the rest of the way. No issues at all.

 

Electricity - these were the problem children mainly because they wouldn't confirm I could have an electric connection installed in the lane until I'd paid for one. I didnt want to pay for one without owning the plot and I didnt want to own a plot that might not be able to get an electric connection. So, I paid a deposit on the proviso if no connection then the sale collapsed. I then paid the DNO for a connection, their way leaves department looked at it and confirmed they didnt have any idea who owned it. So they turned around and said we'll crack on and if someone turns up claiming g ownership we will deal with that then! They used the job as an excuse to upgrade the line in the lane and reconnected 3 other properties onto it. In the end they had to dig 80 odd metres so my bill was about £6000 for that but at least I got a connection!

 

For a bit of context, the lane branches off from an adopted road. There are four properties including my own which use it for access. Two of those only started to do so about 20yrs ago as they changed their layout. There is a horse paddock at one end also accessed by the lane. The lane is also a PROW with a lot of walkers using it. The neighbours are sound and I just kept them I formed throughout, in particular the paddock owner as they dont live local. The walkers and locals just 2walked around whatever we were doing.

 

Hope this helps👍

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On 23/05/2020 at 08:05, LA3222 said:

@Jvh2012 your situation sounds exactly the same as my own was.

 

My plot is half of what was the garden of the neighbouring property and it is at the end of a 100m section of unadopted lane. The neighbouring property used to be a working garden nursery and all the plot plus loads around it was covered in greenhouses and poly tunnels, it was originally the only property accessed down this lane and although the land registry shows a part of the lane at the end as belonging to the proporty, the first 100m show no owner. Although we suspect it is the adjacent property it couldn't be proven, nor could an owner be found.

 

This caused two problems:

1. Right of access.

2. Right to lay services.

 

The first issue was solved in two ways, the solicitor said a load of technical/legal stuff gave us a right of access and that an indemnity policy was not required. I took one out anyway as belts and braces protection - they are not expensive.

 

The second issue caused problems and delayed the purchase due to the electricity DNO. More on that in a second.

 

Water - they didn't care about lane ownership etc, didnt even ask or check. I paid for a new connection and they came out and put one in. There were issues trying to find the main in the lane but the point is that they dug up bits all over the lane and not once queried ownership.

 

Sewerage - the pipe conveniently ran perpendicular to the entrance way to the shared driveway. I got a company y in to put a connection in, it was in the lane but not enough to disrupt anyone. No questions of ownership or right to dig were raised.

 

BT - Again, no questions asked. There is a pole in the lane about 10m from the entrance to the driveway. I told BT Openreach that I wanted an underground connection, they supplied the pipe a d I got a cheap in with a mini digger to do the trench and laid it all myself. When BT installed the line, they ran it overhead down the line to that pole where I had put my duct and then pulled it through the rest of the way. No issues at all.

 

Electricity - these were the problem children mainly because they wouldn't confirm I could have an electric connection installed in the lane until I'd paid for one. I didnt want to pay for one without owning the plot and I didnt want to own a plot that might not be able to get an electric connection. So, I paid a deposit on the proviso if no connection then the sale collapsed. I then paid the DNO for a connection, their way leaves department looked at it and confirmed they didnt have any idea who owned it. So they turned around and said we'll crack on and if someone turns up claiming g ownership we will deal with that then! They used the job as an excuse to upgrade the line in the lane and reconnected 3 other properties onto it. In the end they had to dig 80 odd metres so my bill was about £6000 for that but at least I got a connection!

 

For a bit of context, the lane branches off from an adopted road. There are four properties including my own which use it for access. Two of those only started to do so about 20yrs ago as they changed their layout. There is a horse paddock at one end also accessed by the lane. The lane is also a PROW with a lot of walkers using it. The neighbours are sound and I just kept them I formed throughout, in particular the paddock owner as they dont live local. The walkers and locals just 2walked around whatever we were doing.

 

Hope this helps👍

Can I ask how long ago you did this please and who the electricity provider was? SP have told me up until 3 years ago it was fine and now their way leave dept won’t agree to it as their liable

of any owner does turn up and tell them to take it out. Water had no issue at all and haven’t been in contact with Bt yet tbh that’s my next job! 
 

we have checked on the owners deeds this weekend and we definitely have right of access and the road was owned up until 1931 and then doesn’t seem to transfer over on the next sale after that.
 

thank you so much for your response really helpful! 
 

 

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33 minutes ago, Jvh2012 said:

Can I ask how long ago you did this please and who the electricity provider was? SP have told me up until 3 years ago it was fine and now their way leave dept won’t agree to it as their liable

of any owner does turn up and tell them to take it out. Water had no issue at all and haven’t been in contact with Bt yet tbh that’s my next job! 
 

we have checked on the owners deeds this weekend and we definitely have right of access and the road was owned up until 1931 and then doesn’t seem to transfer over on the next sale after that.
 

thank you so much for your response really helpful! 
 

 

2018, Northern Powergrid. Within a day of me paying they said couldn't work out the owner but they'd do it anyway. 

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Oh wow that’s really good news! I was promised a call back from SP on weds, it didn’t happen. Hoping I will have an answer by Monday. We’ve had it agreed thankfully with the owner of the land we can go through her garden once we’ve exhausted everything else with SP but that really ideal for her and the lane would be better for us for cost. 

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