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Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

15Power of local authorities to survey land which they propose to acquire compulsorily

(1)A person authorised in writing in that behalf by a local authority may at any reasonable time—

(a)survey any land in connection with a proposal by the authority to acquire compulsorily an interest in the land or a right over the land which is not such an interest; and

(b)for the purpose of surveying any land in pursuance of the preceding paragraph, enter on the land and other land.

(2)The power to survey land conferred by the preceding subsection includes power to search and bore on and in the land for the purpose of ascertaining the nature of the subsoil or whether minerals are present in the subsoil, and the power to enter on land conferred by that subsection includes power to place and leave, on or in the land, apparatus for use in connection with the survey in question and power to remove the apparatus ; and it is hereby declared that references to surveying in this section include surveying from the air.

(3)A person authorised by a local authority to enter on land in pursuance of subsection (1) of this section—

(a)shall, if so required before or after entering on the land,

produce evidence of his authority to enter ;

(b)may take with him on to the land such other persons and such equipment as are necessary for the survey in question;

(c)shall not if the land is occupied demand admission to the land as of right unless notice of the intended entry has been served by the local authority on the occupier not less than fourteen days before the demand;

(d)shall, if the land is unoccupied when he enters or the occupier is then temporarily absent, leave the land as effectually secured against trespassers as he found it;

(e)shall not place or leave apparatus on or in the land or remove apparatus from the land—

(i)unless notice of his intention to do so has been served by the local authority on an owner of the land, and if the land is occupied on the occupier, not less than fourteen days before he does so, and

(ii)if the land is held by relevant undertakers who within that period serve on the local authority a notice stating that they object to the placing or leaving or removal of the apparatus on the ground that to do so would be seriously detrimental to the carrying on of their undertaking, unless the Secretary of State authorises him in writing to do so;

(f)shall not search or bore on or in the land which is the subject of the survey in question if the land is held by relevant undertakers—

(i)unless notice of his intention to do so has been served by the local authority on the undertakers not less than fourteen days before he does so, and

(ii)if within that period the undertakers serve on the local authority a notice stating that they object to the searching or boring on the ground that to do so would be seriously detrimental to the carrying on of their undertaking, unless the Secretary of State authorises him in writing to do so ;

and in paragraphs (e) and (f) of this subsection " relevant undertakers " means any statutory undertakers, any person authorised to carry on a light railway undertaking, a ferry undertaking or an undertaking for supplying district heating, the British Airports Authority, the Civil Aviation Authority and the National Coal Board.

(4)Where it is proposed to search or bore in pursuance of this section in a street or controlled land within the meaning of the Public Utilities Street Works Act 1950, section 26 of that Act (which imposes obligations on undertakers executing works likely to affect other undertakers' apparatus) shall have effect in relation to the searching or boring as if it were works to which that section applies and as if the person intending to do the searching or boring were operating undertakers within the meaning of that section.

(5)If, in connection with such a proposal of a local authority as is mentioned in subsection (1)(a) of this section, a person interested in any land suffers damage in consequence of the exercise of a power conferred by subsection (1) or (3)(b) of this section or a failure to perform the duty imposed by subsection (3)(d) of this section in respect of the land, he shall be entitled to recover compensation for the damage from the local authority.

(6)Any dispute as to a person's entitlement to compensation in pursuance of the preceding subsection or as to the amount of the compensation shall be determined by the Lands Tribunal, and sections 2(2) to (5) and 4 of the Land Compensation Act 1961 (which relate to the conduct of certain proceedings before the Tribunal and costs) shall with the necessary modifications apply in relation to the determination by the Tribunal of such a dispute.

(7)If a person—

(a)wilfully obstructs another person in the exercise of a power conferred on the other person by subsection (1) or (3)(b) of this section ; or

(b)while another person is on any land in pursuance of the said subsection (3)(b), wilfully obstructs him in doing things connected with the survey in question; or

(c)removes or otherwise interferes with apparatus left on or in land in pursuance of this section,

he shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £50.

(8)If a person who has entered on any land in pursuance of this section discloses to another person information obtained by him there about a manufacturing process or trade secret, then, unless the disclosure is made in the course of performing his duty in connection with the purposes for which he was authorised to enter on the land, he shall be guilty of an offence and liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £400 or, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or a fine or both.

(9)A local authority which has power by virtue of section 64(1) of the Highways Act 1971, section 280(7) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971 or paragraph 20(1) of Schedule 4 to the Community Land Act 1975 to authorise a person to survey or enter on any land as mentioned in subsection (1) of this section shall not be entitled by virtue of that subsection to authorise a person to survey or enter on the land.

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