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Electricity Act 1989

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Street works etc. in England and Wales

1(1)Subject to the following provisions of this paragraph, for any purpose connected with the carrying on of the activities which he is authorised by his licence to carry on, a licence holder may execute—

(a)the following kinds of works, that is to say, installing under, over, in, on, along or across any street and from time to time inspecting, maintaining, adjusting, repairing, altering, replacing or removing—

(i)any electric lines or electrical plant; and

(ii)any structures for housing or covering any such lines or plant; and

(b)any works requisite for or incidental to the purposes of any works falling within paragraph (a) above, including for those purposes—

(i)opening or breaking up any street or any sewers, drains or tunnels within or under any street;

(ii)tunnelling or boring under any street; and

(iii)removing or using all earth and materials in or under any street;

but nothing in this sub-paragraph shall empower a licence holder to lay down or place any electric line or electrical plant into, through or against any building, or in any land not dedicated to the public use.

(2)The power of a licence holder under sub-paragraph (1) to place on or over a street any structure for housing any line or plant shall be exercisable only—

(a)in the case of a street which constitutes for the purposes of the [1980 c. 66.] Highways Act 1980 a highway or part of a highway maintainable at the public expense, with the consent of the highway authority;

(b)in the case of a street not falling within paragraph (a) above which is under the control or management of a railway or navigation authority, with the consent of that authority;

(c)in the case of a street not falling within paragraph (a) or (b) above which is repairable by any person, with the consent of that person;

but no such consent shall be unreasonably withheld.

(3)Any question under sub-paragraph (2) above as to whether or not a consent is unreasonably withheld shall be determined by a single arbitrator to be appointed by the parties or, in default of agreement, by the Director.

(4)Except in cases of emergency arising from faults in any electric lines or electrical plant, a street falling within paragraph (b) or (c) of sub-paragraph (2) above shall not be opened or broken up by virtue of sub-paragraph (1) above except with the consent of the person mentioned in that paragraph or the consent of the Secretary of State.

(5)The Secretary of State shall not entertain an application for his consent under sub-paragraph (4) above unless the licence holder has served notice of the application on the person whose consent would otherwise be required.

(6)A licence holder shall do as little damage as possible in the exercise of the powers conferred by sub-paragraph (1) above and shall make compensation for any damage done in the exercise of those powers.

(7)A licence holder shall exercise the powers conferred by sub-paragraph (1) above in such manner as will secure that nothing which he instals or keeps installed under, over, in, on, along or across any street becomes a source of danger to the public.

(8)The powers conferred by sub-paragraph (1) above shall be included among those to which section 20 of the [1980 c. 66.] Highways Act 1980 (restriction on laying of apparatus etc. in special roads) applies; and nothing in that sub-paragraph shall affect the application to any operation of sections 34 to 36 of the [1949 c. 74.] Coast Protection Act 1949.

(9)In this paragraph—

  • “highway authority”, in relation to a street, means the highway authority having the control or management of the street;

  • “street” means any square, court, alley, highway, road, lane, thoroughfare, public passage or place and includes, unless the context otherwise requires, any bridge which carries a street.

(10)This paragraph extends to England and Wales only.

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