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Burning Pylon logoLandowner Advice 6/11/00

On 24 October NGC issued 28-day notices to landowners to say contractors Balfour Beatty will be starting work, firstly for survey, tree tagging and pruning, preparatory for construction. This is premature and landowners are entitled to refuse entry until matters are agreed. Below (in plain text) is a note to landowners (and their agents) with a draft reply to NGC's letter.

REVOLT: Note to Landowners 6.11.00

Landowners on the Picton-Shipton route will in late October have received NGC's 28 day notice of the intention for Balfour Beatty to start work on the project. Typically the notice is given in a letter of 24 October from Charles Waite.

Landowners are not obliged to agree to access of Balfour Beatty on their land, as long as they have reason to object. Some reasons are given in the draft reply below. Landowners may wish to select those they consider appropriate in their own reply. Further, landowners can refuse entry to Balfour Beatty and can call the police if Balfour Beatty try to gain access without permission.

You will have noticed that the weather recently has not been dry and the soil has not been in a dry state. A condition of consent requires that no work connected with the project may proceed unless it is dry and the soil is in a dry state. However, the time to bring this up will be when (and if) NGC have got over the other hurdles and you can no longer legally refuse them for other reasons.


Draft response (to Mr James Ross, Chairman, NGG, 185 Park St, London SE1 9DY, 
with a copy to Charles Waite and to your local MP at House of Commons, Westminster, London SW1A 0AA) :

Dear Mr Ross,

I have received a letter of 24 October from Charles Waite giving 28 days notice of work by Balfour Beatty, your appointed contractor.

It is with concern but not surprise that I learn that NGC have appointed Balfour Beatty as contractor for construction of the overhead line, just as Balfour Beatty are receiving serious public criticism for their "low standards and poor attitude" in connection with their responsibility for faulty rails causing the Hatfield train crash (Ceefax page 104 24.10.00).

Neither your company nor the contractor is entitled to enter my land to work on this project without my express permission. The compulsory wayleave does not give you that power, as was made clear in the parliamentary reply 12.5.99 from Environment Minister Nick Raynsford (Hansard col. 394). He made it clear that the obligation is to minimise inconvenience to the landowner. You are not simply entitled to proceed as you wish. It would be premature to proceed at this stage.

Before I can agree arrangements, I require from you:
a) negotiation of acceptable compensation you will pay me for the inconvenience of the work and the impact of the line as a whole;
b) a written undertaking to my satisfaction that you will reinstate hedgerows within a stated period and will maintain the hedgerow thereafter for 5 years including replacing any defective plants;
c) a full schedule of all trees to be felled or lopped, identifying each individual tree;
d) a written undertaking to bury the intervening Northern Electric line to my satisfaction over a length to be agreed with me;
e) a written assurance that you will not take access over my land to any sites on neighbouring land;
f) full details of any application to any local authority in respect of verge crossings from classified or unclassified public roads on to my land;
g) full details of the traffic to take access on my land, including vehicle numbers and weights;
h) full details of the traffic using public roads affecting the local community within 2 miles, aggregating the traffic from all accesses in the region
i) details of the type of crane to be used, and its weight, and, if a light-weight derrick is not to be used, an explanation as to why not, as it was declared to be possible in the public inquiries concerning Tower 18;
j) details of fencing you propose to erect around your working area so that I can consider what effect that might have on my own access to the land;
k) details of safety measures and safety training of your and contractors' staff;
l) arrangements for public consultation including residents likely to be affected by the works or the traffic and including parish councils;
m) details of tree planting and maintenance which you will undertake in mitigation;
n) a written undertaking that you will accept full responsibility and liability for potential health effects arising from the line in the light of all published research to date, including the work of Preece and of Henshaw on downwind incidence of illness consistent with polluted airborne particles, and the international pooled analysis of Ahlbom et al showing a firm association with childhood leukaemia (British J Cancer 83, 692-698, 2000), and that you will not simply shelter behind the advice of NRPB which is only part of the evidence and advice available to you.

Yours sincerely,


cc your MP; REVOLT; your agent; Charles Waite at NGC


Copy of this letter as a text file is here

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