Section 11 – Safeguarding works to buildings
48.The ground conditions along the route may give rise to a need to prevent or remedy damage to buildings caused by the construction, operation or maintenance of the authorised works or conversely to carry out remedial works to a building which might otherwise affect the safe construction or operation of the authorised works. This will call for underpinning, strengthening or other works for the same purposes (all in the Act called “safeguarding works”). The area where there is a possibility of such works being required is the land within the limits of the Act which are shown on the Parliamentary plans.
49.Subsection (1) accordingly enables the authorised undertaker at its own expense to carry out such safeguarding works to any building within the Act limits as the authorised undertaker considers to be necessary or expedient. Safeguarding works may be carried out during construction or at any time during the five years after any part of the authorised works is first opened for public use.
50.The detailed procedure that must be adopted is set out in schedule 4. This allows for the carrying out of preliminary surveys and (except in an emergency) the service of 14 days’ notice prior to entry and carrying out the safeguarding works. A landowner may question the necessity for safeguarding works and require the issue to be referred to arbitration. However there is no right to question the initial entry to carry out preliminary surveys. Without such preliminary survey it would be very difficult to identify whether and to what extent safeguarding works are required, or to determine the extent of any damage which is caused and for which compensation would be payable. A compulsory power of entry is required in order to make the operation of this provision effective.
51.Where damage is caused by safeguarding works, or where safeguarding works prove to be inadequate within five years after the opening of the relevant authorised works, the authorised undertaker must pay compensation.