When are you starting?
Our work has now started on several elements of the project.
What size will the pipe be?
The pipework between Thirlmere and the new water treatment works will be twin 900mm diameter pipes laid side by side. The width of our working area (easement) will be around 40 metres.
The distribution pipe network which will take the treated water from Williamsgate will be between 400mm and 600mm in diameter with a working easement area of around 20 metres.
How long will my land be affected for?
From taking entry to restoration of the top-soil and re-seeding will typically involve the loss of two growing seasons. However, where possible we will aim to be quicker by using a specialist contractor to follow behind the main pipe laying contractor. We’ll ensure that your land is put back as it was before.
At what depth will the pipe be laid?
Our pipes are laid with 900mm of ground cover. The large diameter trunk main, which is gravity fed, may require some sections which are deeper (up to 3-4 metres) however these sections should be relatively short. Generally the distribution mains will be laid with 900mm of cover and some sections may be sliplined which is using our existing mains as a sleeve.
I have extensive land drainage systems - how will these be reinstated?
Under the Water Industry Act 1991 we must follow the Code of (best) Practice. In accordance with this we will try to plan the route to avoid drainage schemes but this will not always be possible. Prior to starting we will, where possible, identify existing drainage schemes through consultation with landowners. Where it is known that we will affect a system of lateral drains, ADAS will prepare a drainage scheme which may involve the installation of a cut-off drain. The cut-off drain will be installed by a specialist agricultural contractor as part of the preliminary works and will typically be laid outside the working area. Where individual drains are encountered these will be cross-connected with the work photographed and where possible witnessed by the landowner. Accurate records and as-laid plans will be maintained. We will inform the landowner of any drains not previously known to exist.
I am anxious about surface water run off leading to soil erosion whilst the works are in progress
As part of their Land and Drainage Report ADAS will assess the risk of soil erosion, (e.g. from steeply surrounding topography) and recommend mitigation measures. Another useful tool in controlling surface water erosion is not to soil strip too much working area in advance of construction. Timely restoration by the specialist agricultural contractor will also reduce the duration that land is exposed to the risk of soil erosion.
Do I need the services of a Land Agent?
We will pay for you to be represented by a Land Agent whose fees will be paid in accordance with the standard Ryde’s Scale fee accepted by the industry. Many Land Agents are highly experienced and will act in your best interest to mitigate the projects affects whilst preparing compensation claims and handling correspondence and meetings. For a pipeline project of this size their services are recommended.
How much compensation can I expect under the Water Industry Act 1991?
We are obliged to assess compensation under Schedule 12 on the basis of any depreciation (reduction) in value to the land and any loss or inconvenience arising from the carrying out of the works. Normally claims can be compartmentalised into Notional Easement, Crop Loss, Reinstatement and Disturbance. Your Land Agent will be familiar with the Heads of Claim and their parameters under Compensation Law. Please note a claimant is under a duty to mitigate his loss and should do so wherever possible.
Will you make a good job of putting my land back as it was before?
We will employ ADAS to prepare a technical Land Condition and Drainage Report. Our Land Agent will also complete a Record of Condition for future reference following completion of our work and everything has been put back as it was before. Our intention is also to engage a specialist agricultural contractor to erect the pipeline fencing and any agreed accommodation works (crossing points etc), including the installation of any drainage works e.g. cut-off drains that have been identified as being necessary. The specialist agricultural contractor will also be responsible for stripping the top-soil and setting this to one side. Following this the pipeline contractor will lay his pipe during which time the specialist contractor will be used to cross connect any drains with their position recorded, and if possible witnessed by the landowner. Once pipe laying is complete the specialist agricultural contractor will return to replace the top-soil, working only when conditions are appropriate to handle top-soil. Re-seeding will then follow although in a few cases some landowners may prefer to re-seed their own land. The timing of re-seeding is crucial and should not be too late in the season or too early using good quality seed applied at generous seed rates.
Can I keep the pipeline fencing?
On completion of the project and following re-seeding it is normal for pipeline fences to remain in place until light grazing pressure can be exercised on the working areas and the fences removed. The normal arrangement is that in return for taking down the fences the landowner may keep the materials and temporary gates, all of which are normally of a good reusable quality. In those situations where a landowner is unable to remove the fencing then the agricultural contractor will return to take it down and will remove from site.
How close can I build to the pipeline?
It will not be possible to build over the easement width for the pipeline which will typically be an area three metres either side of the pipeline. On our large water pipe a wider easement may be required and this may necessitate a wider easement and greater protective area, possibly 5 metres each side of the pipeline.
Do I receive an annual wayleave?
No. Payment is a one off capital payment.
What rights do you have over my land?
We have a right to operate and maintain our pipe through creation of a statutory easement when Notice is served under the Water Industry Act 1991. It must however pay appropriate compensation under Schedule 12. If at any time we wish to subsequently alter, renew, or maintain the pipe we will serve a six week Notice.
Will you make a Record of Condition?
We will make a full photographic Record of Condition of the working area. Any buildings in close proximity to the proposed pipeline may be subject to an independent structural survey. The Record of Condition will help to ensure the land is returned to a condition as near as possible to what existed beforehand.
How will the work be supervised?
We will make sure that anybody working on your land is properly supervised and do not stray outside the agreed working area. If you have notified us of anything that requires special attention then we will ensure that it is brought to the attention of our contractors who may need to take it into account.
How will you maintain access to my land?
It is essential that you can maintain access to your property wherever possible and within reason we will let you have access to fields by provision of crossing points across the working area. If it is necessary to sever some areas of farmland then we will discuss this with you. Where appropriate we will provide pedestrian crossings, gates and stiles to assist your access to the land. Where possible we will ensure there is minimum interference with any existing accesses and especially access required for emergency vehicles.
How will you access the land for construction?
Normally we gain access to our pipeline by working along the working area, however if access is required by any other route we will first consult you and include this additional access route on our Section 159 Notice plan.
How will you maintain the security of my property and of the working strip?
Before the project starts we will discuss the type of fencing required to maintain a safe working area across your land. If the working area affects livestock we will put up suitable stockproof fencing and ensure that this is maintained throughout the duration of the works and whilst your land is being put back as it was before. If you have particular security concerns regarding your property we will discuss these with you.
How will you ensure my top-soil is not lost or damaged?
Following the Code of Practice we will preserve the structure of the soil. Where top-soil is stripped from the land we will store it separately from other excavated materials such as sub-soil and rock. When the main pipeline work is finished by the pipe laying contractor, the specialist agricultural contractor will prepare the sub-soil prior to replacing the top-soil. The top-soil we remove will be restored as far as possible to the condition it was prior to the work and replaced to the same depth and with any large stones excavated during the works not left near the surface.
Will you affect my trees and hedgerows?
Wherever possible we will seek to avoid the felling or lopping of any mature trees, however if this is unavoidable we will consult with you first. If any trees are subject to a Tree Preservation Order then we will consult with the relevant Authority and abide with the regulations. Any works required to replace hedges will also be discussed and any formal approvals required will be requested from the Local Authority.
How will you manage any fishing and sporting rights?
Neither our staff nor agents will be allowed to carry firearms on the working area or bring animals onto the site (with the possible exception of guard dogs). If there are any fishing or sporting rights adjacent to the working area we will use reasonable endeavours to see that our work minimises any interference with the enjoyment of them, and where interference is unavoidable we will discuss our works and their timing.
How will you manage watercourses?
Where our pipe crosses beneath a watercourse it will be laid in accordance with the requirements of the Environment Agency or the Local Authority. In the absence of any such requirements the pipe will be at least 300mm below the original clear bottom of the watercourse. In accordance with Environmental Law we will take precautions to ensure the watercourse is not adversely affected during the construction works e.g. by siltation.
Do you make special provision for areas affected by disease?
If you advise us that an area in which we have to work has previously been infected by a disease notifiable under the Animal Health Act 1981 (e.g. foot and mouth) we will follow the requirements of Defra. Additionally if Defra has imposed requirements to avoid spreading soil born pests and diseases we will comply with them.
Can I make private agreements with the contractor?
If you make any agreements directly with our contractors you should note that we will not be responsible for any consequences, nor intervene in any such agreements.
Will I have surface structures on my land?
The operation of a pipeline nearly always requires creation of Air Valves and Washouts at high and low points along the pipeline route respectively. The construction of these chambers should be identified on the plan accompanying the Notice and where possible we will try to locate them at field boundaries where they do not interfere with farming operations. The finished level of the chambers and their location can be varied (typically flush with ground level) and should be discussed and agreed with our Land Agent/Contractor’s Technical Officer before work starts.