JackOrion

Utility pole on plot

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There's a 4.5m wooden utility pole at the edge of the driveway on the semi-rural plot we're looking to buy. It serves electricity as well as telecoms.

 

The footprint of the proposed house is around 7m away from the pole. There is a stabilising cable too, which runs towards the proposed house (landing about 4m away from proposed exterior wall).

 

Could this scupper development plans in any way? What should I be checking in relation to this?

 

I'm awaiting electricity cabling maps from the DNO at the moment to check they don't run beneath the plot. There don't appear to be any wayleaves established in the title register; I'm waiting to hear back from telecoms and electricity DNO to establish ownership of the pole.

 

Also, service connection quotes have been favourable so far – I suspect the position of the pole may have had a bearing on this!

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You can probably get the pole moved.  We had a similar problem, with a pole with power and phone cables right in front of  where our house was going to go, with the guy cable being right in the middle of the new drive.  The overhead cables were in the way, too, plus there was a big 3 phase cable running from that pole diagonally across the plot, that would have been under our house.

 

I managed to get the DNO (who owned the pole, even though there were also phone cables on it) to agree to move it, and to agree to putting all the overhead power cables that went over the plot underground.  Our ground works chap dug trenches and put ducts in to their spec, Openreach provided free ducts etc for their cable and the DNO charged us about £3500 to put a new pole in at the corner of the plot, pull underground cables through to supply our neighbours and make all the necessary connections.

 

There were no wayleaves for the cables running over/under our plot, or for the old pole, so new wayleave agreements had to be put in place, and were included in the fee.  The DNO needed to be paid in full in advance, and was an absolute PITA.  We paid them in April, wanted the cables and pole shifted by the second week in July but they didn't eventually turn up until mid-August, and even than they needed a lot of goading.

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It does not sound like a huge problem unless something else emerges, which could happen.

 

Phone up the DNO and ask their wayleave dept about whatever the I'd no. on the is, or a postcode my be accurate enough.

 

Then read the wayleave agreement and see what your options are; they should send you a copy if asked.

 

In contrast to Jeremy, we had the right just to give them notice to remove their equipment.

 

You certainly cannot accurately value the plot until you know where you stand.

Edited by Ferdinand

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2 minutes ago, JSHarris said:

You can probably get the pole moved.

 

Given the proximity to the building, would we actually need it to be moved, from a technical perspective? Aside from aesthetics, can it cause any problems to the development?

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7 minutes ago, Ferdinand said:

read the wayleave agreement

 

Would this be included in the title register of the land we're looking at? Or is it a separate document?

 

If the pole is used by telecoms and electricity, should there be wayleaves set up for both? Or just for whichever utility owns the pole?

Edited by JackOrion

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8 minutes ago, Ferdinand said:

we had the right just to give them notice to remove their equipment

 

If we have this right, is it possible moving the equipment could effect our service connection costs?

Edited by JackOrion

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We are assuming that the pole is used for services to third parties i.e. Not you. Is it? If it supplies you, then it is a different ballgame.

 

I discovered that right once I had the Wayleave Agreement from the DNO. You need to read it.

 

It may or may not be referred to on your Land Registey record. I am not sure that there is a general rule.

Edited by Ferdinand

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Just now, Ferdinand said:

We are assuming that the pole is used for services to third parties i.e. Not you. Is it? If it supplies you, then it is a different ballgame.

 

It definitely supplies other surrounding properties.

 

I'd assume that the pole would be used for the electricity and telecoms service connections we would get too. How could this be ascertained at this stage? No mention of this type of detail on the quotes I have from providers.

 

What are the implications if the pole is to be required for our connections? We can't move it?

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A catenary BT cable can do approx 30m without needing a secondary suspension wire from what OpenReach advised me. For power it’s more likely you will come down the pole and into a duct as they don’t like new overhead power supplies where possible as they are susceptible to damage and corrosion. 

 

The guy wire is most likely on a 5ft angled pin at 90 degrees to the wire and set in concrete. No issue digging near those and 3m is fine for the distance to the house. 

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How close would the house be to any overhead cables? There are limits on how close scaffolding can be erected near some cables. Otherwise it sounds like you might only need to move it for aesthetic reasons. The area around the bracing wire would probably have to be protected from impact by diggers etc.

 

 

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@JackOrion

 

Here are a couple of threads about the process some of us have been through, with experiences and reflections and a lot of background.

 

I think if it a supply to you as well as others, then. I do not have any clear knowledge, but I can see if you want them to move it and it is not the type where you can give them notice they would have spect you to pay. Others may be able to help better for that.

 

Unfortunately there is a lot of digging and research involved, but personally I found Western Power very helpful. We made them move a pair of high power lines ... possibly 33kV ... and they have now put them under the former A38.

 

 

 

Edited by Ferdinand
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10 minutes ago, Temp said:

How close would the house be to any overhead cables?

 

The pole's on the edge of the plot by the road, and the main overhead electricity cables go away from the plot and across the road.

 

There is however a telephone wire from the pole that crosses the proposed driveway to next door's property. Am now thinking we might need to pay BT or Openreach to move this. What are the implications here? Note the said neighbour is apparently 'prickly' and objected to the planning permission.

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4 minutes ago, Ferdinand said:

Here are a couple of threads about the process some of us have been through, with experiences and reflections and a lot of background.

 

Many thanks, appreciate this, I'll give these a read while I wait to hear from utilities regarding the wayleaves agreements.

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8 minutes ago, JackOrion said:

 

The pole's on the edge of the plot by the road, and the main overhead electricity cables go away from the plot and across the road.

 

There is however a telephone wire from the pole that crosses the proposed driveway to next door's property. Am now thinking we might need to pay BT or Openreach to move this. What are the implications here? Note the said neighbour is apparently 'prickly' and objected to the planning permission.

 

 

I found that Openreach don't charge to move a secondary use cable.  Apparently, if the pole owner (probably the DNO) moves something that means the phone wires need to be moved, then because it's the pole owner making the change, Openreach don't charge, they just shift the cables to the new pole.  In our case Openreach were happy to supply ducts and cable free of charge so that the old overhead cable could be re-routed to the base of the new pole underground.  Like the DNO, they prefer underground runs if possible, as they are more reliable.  The only reason they run cables overhead is because it's a great deal cheaper.

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1 minute ago, JSHarris said:

I found that Openreach don't charge to move a secondary use cable

 

Good to know, thanks – I'll try and clarify this with them. Ironically the toughest utility to get any info from via the telephone!

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Openreach are bloody impossible to deal with, I found.  After much phoning around I eventually got hold of the mobile number for the local Openreach area engineer.  That chap was worth his weight in gold, as he knew exactly how to deal with the problem, and his own inept senior management.  He was the one that arranged to free issue us with duct, cable, hockey sticks, cast iron boxes etc, and made sure we had enough to run duct to the new house, so that when we asked a supplier for a connection we'd only get charged the basic fee, as all the cables were already in place.

 

Like a lot of big companies, Openreach survive on the willingness of their staff at the coalface to sort things out, to make up for the fact that as a company they are an unmitigated disaster.

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2 hours ago, JackOrion said:

 

Would this be included in the title register of the land we're looking at? Or is it a separate document?

 

 

Either.  Our last house had previously been part of a small holding sold off by the government after WW2.  There was a permanent deed of servitude written into the deeds allowing the electricity board (and its heirs & successors) to erect and maintain poles and overhead lines on the land.  Previous plots had individual wayleave agreements held by the DNO, although don't be surprised if there is nothing at all. 

 

When my parents built their house, there were poles and line criss-crossing the site, but they had no paperwork.  Prior to my father concluding the purchase the Hydro Board very sneakily tried to get the then owner to sign a new wayleave knowing full well they didn't have any paperwork for the site.  One solicitors letter later, the Hydro had to remove / re-route all the cables and poles, including all the groundworks, the only 'cost' to my parents being they had to sign a wayleave for the poles / cable from that point on.  Saved them around £12K, and that was 25 years ago.

 

One final point, if it is something you have to pay for, challenge and question their costs, including the non contestable elements.  It's amazing how elastic their pricing structures can be.

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Re building distance to overhead lines.

 

I found there was a general rule of "no building" within 9 metres of an overhead line.  But when I contacted SSE to find out, I was actually told that the no building limit was 6 metres, and if building within 6 and 9 metres of an overhead line you had to take precautions re scaffold and diggers.

 

Since my house at it's closest is 7 metres to the line I took it no further, other than to make sure all contractors and delivery drivers were aware of the line.

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7 hours ago, JackOrion said:

 

Many thanks, appreciate this, I'll give these a read while I wait to hear from utilities regarding the wayleaves agreements.

 

I found the best response was phone call to reception to find the right person to talk to followed by an email confirming details to the email address given me by that person. 

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