utility company

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    utility company

    Hoping someone can point me in the right direction.
    I am one of the directors of a RMC. We have 41 properties in a gated (private) development. Last week we discovered that a company had entered and dug a hole in the road at some point during the day. At 9:30 pm some workmen turned up, stood around chatting and 40 minutes later the water company turned up. One of my co-directors asked what was happening and was told we had a water leak. The electricity company then turned up and disconnected the electricity. One man then started drilling - by now it was heading towards 11pm. About 3 hours later our electricity was reconnected. The hole remained - cordoned off.
    After a lot of fobbing off the following day, I finally spoke with someone at the electricity company who told me that there had been a fault with a street light (not on our property) so their contractors had entered in the afternoon, removed our paving and dug the hole. They then managed to damage our water pipe causing a leak, and, apparently, damage our electricity cables. They then called out the water company as an emergency. Six hours later, the water company turned up and it was decided the electricity needed to be switched off due to the proximity of the leak.
    Yesterday the contractors returned to fix the hole. Instead of replacing our tiles, it looks like they have put tarmac across. They have left our tiles piled to the side. Clearly not acceptable.
    My question is can contractors be sent on to our land to do this? The work they carried out was not classed as an emergency and was nothing to do with our street lighting. It also caused considerable disruption. Secondly, surely they are supposed to make good what they have done? They have, in effect, damaged our pathway.
    Thanks for any help.

    You are correct to demand that they put things right again, not just how they want to. I would write to the company for any explanation and when they would be returning to finish the works to the original state. If they still do not I would get a contractor to complete the works and you then need to sue them for it. I would suggest you take photos as it is now.

    Concerning whether they are allowed to come on your land, I would suspect they are as it's part of the national grid system, especially if they have had a report that there is fault, but them not checking the correct location of the fault is their negligence.


      Both companies are "statutory undertakers"


        Thanks both. I am waiting on a callback from them regarding fixing the damage to the path. Does it mean though they can come out at will to dig up our pathway, without permission to enter, in cases on non-emergencies? I have visions of coming back to find the entire pathway dug up and paring spaces disappeared!


          Most of the material I can find is in terms of their interactions with public highways, but the duty to repair there is to a specified standard. Without checking in detail, my guess would be that that standard is functional not cosmetic, so, as long as the tarmac is strong enough, it is probably alright.

          They do normally have to give the council a small amount of notice.


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