A Wayleave Agreement should be obtained before Telecoms, Utilities or Fibre providers install their apparatus and infrastructures on privately owned land or new developments, but what does the process involve? We have therefore answered 5 commonly asked questions relating to Wayleaves which will hopefully help explain these sometimes misunderstood legal agreements.

What is a Wayleave?
A Wayleave is a legally binding agreement between a land or property owner and Telecoms, Utilities or Fibre providers that grants access for the installation and subsequent maintenance or management of network cabling and equipment over or under land.

How long does a Wayleave Agreement take?
As the old adage states, ‘how long is a piece of string?’ The time in which it takes to acquire a Wayleave Agreement can differ depending on the circumstances of the contract and the cooperation of third parties. These parties regularly include Wayleave Officers, Land Agents, Solicitors and adjoining landowners. Typically, it takes between 12-16 weeks for the necessary legal documentation to be granted. However, some projects can prove more complex than others and therefore take considerably longer to process.

How much can the Landowner expect to earn?
Unfortunately financial negotiations are another challenge during Wayleave negotiations. Some landowners have exaggerated expectations and therefore expect sizably more than what the service providers are willing to pay. Many factors can determine an agreement’s viability including location, ground conditions and topography. Simply put, it all depends on the nature of the project!

What are Statutory Wayleaves?
A Statutory or Necessary Wayleave grants the provider the right to access land and install their equipment without the concurrence of the landowner. Most providers will try to negotiate a Voluntary Wayleave but if an agreement is not met, providers can often proceed with the install under the Code Power Operating Licence and impose Compulsory Purchase or Vesting Orders.

Is there a difference between a Wayleave and an Easement?
Like Wayleaves, an Easement or Dead of Grant appropriates providers with the legal rights to access and maintain their cabling and infrastructure on private land. An Easement only requires a one-off payment to secure permanent access whereas a Wayleave is usually a temporary agreement. Landowners can request for a previously agreed Wayleave to be renegotiated and changed to an Easement agreement but not the reverse.