Tom Bodley Scott
Despite its many shortcomings, many landowners became familiar with the 30 or so years of the previous legislation. The law underpinning an operator’s right to access land and remain on property is covered by legislation referred to as the new Code, which was introduced on 28 December 2017. Having provided evidence to the Law Commission ahead of the new Code being introduced, Batcheller Monkhouse were surprised that the Government went against the Law Commissions’ advice and introduced changes to the valuation regime. With the benefit of hindsight, it would appear that these changes in valuation, away from the market valuation of the old Code, are the root of the problems operators now face when trying to have meaningful engagement with their landlords.
Hot on the tail of the new Code, further legislation is now proposed which is expected to be enacted towards the end of 2022. The proposed changes are designed to clarify some of the outstanding uncertainties of the new Code, but they may well still fall short of addressing all the imbalances faced or felt by landowners.
Ahead of these further changes to the law, Batcheller Monkhouse have been invited by the DCMS to take part in discussion groups and working parties amongst the relevant stakeholders. Underpinned by our teams’ experience of working with landowners large and small, we hope to provide sensible and practical opinions on matters such as, Template Code Agreements, a revised OFCOM Code of Conduct, and issues relating to Bulk Wayleave Agreements.
By maintaining a current and active knowledge of both the legislation underpinning the new Code and the associated case law, our telecoms experts can continue to provide our clients with current and relevant advice in this fast moving market.