A SUFFOLK woman’s neighbour wants to dig up her lawn to build an EV charger. Can she do anything about it?
We explain your rights if you neighbour needs to use your property for an installation.
Kat wrote to The Times that her next-door neighbour wants to build an electric car charger on their driveway.
But the electricity company has recommended the wires go underneath Kat’s hedge and lawn because they need a different category of electricity supply.
Kat wrote: “I want to be helpful and don’t want to get into a dispute with my neighbour, but I feel this is setting me up for grief.”
What are the risks?
Kat’s fears include damage to her hedge, a costly bill through the post if the wires needs repair and an expensive chat with a lawyer first.
Property experts Henry Stuart and Ella Taylor-Fagan recommended Kat try to reach an agreement with her neighbour which includes key safeguards.
For example, clauses could be written in guaranteeing any hedge or lawn repairs are covered, or that the electricity company pays for wire repair.
This would also help ensure there’s no legal trouble down the road.
What are your rights if you can’t make a deal?
If the two parties are unable to come to an agreement, the electricity company can try to force their way below Kat’s garden.
That could be possible in the form of a “necessary wayleave”, an agreement between the utility firm and the government stating that the installation is too important not to go ahead.
They’re typically used for essential electrical faults and roadworks, so it’s unlikely the electricity company would be successful in this particular case.
The firm would also have to prove to the energy secretary that the installation is “necessary or expedient” under the Electricity Act 1989 – and long negotiations are likely to follow.
Stuart and Taylor-Fagan wrote: “The secretary of state will consider the effects of the line on the use and enjoyment of your land as well as any feasible alternatives.
“Establishing why your neighbour wishes to install a high-power EV charger and whether there are alternative routes may be important for assessing whether a wayleave application will be successful.”
The good news is your neighbour will probably have to foot the bill of any installation, the lawyers added.
You just might not be successful trying to block the installation altogether.
One Redditor boasted they won’t let their Christmas guests park on their acres of empty land – but the law isn’t on their side.
And here’s what experts told us will happen if you try to get someone towed for parking on your driveway.
For now, your best bet is: talk to your neighbours and try to keep it civil.
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