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Consultation on proposed reforms to the Electricity Act process.
We are seeking views on proposals in respect of possible changes to the necessary wayleaves procedures for England and Wales currently set out in legislation, in particular modernisation of the Electricity (Compulsory Wayleaves) (Hearings Procedure) Rules 1967.
Necessary wayleaves are one way for electricity network operators to secure the right to run electric lines across land in cases where it is considered to be in the public interest for them to do so, but they are unable to reach voluntary agreement with the owners and/or occupiers of the land in question.
We are also seeking the introduction of a formal procedure for hearing applications made by electricity network operators relating to essential vegetation management adjacent to overhead lines and electrical plant (eg to fell or lop trees or shrubs or cut back their roots where they pose a risk to safety or security of supply).
The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) does not currently impose any charges upon those who use or benefit from necessary wayleave or vegetation management procedures, so they are currently free at the point of use and the costs of administering the application and hearings procedures have been met entirely by the tax payer through general taxation.
We are proposing the possible introduction of a scale fees for handling necessary wayleave and essential vegetation management applications, to be payable by electricity network operators at various stages in the process, in line with Government policy that such services should be on a ‘full cost recovery basis’ so that the cost to the tax payer is broadly neutral.