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Land Drainage Act 1991

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34 Financial consequences of commutation.E+W

(1)Where any obligation is commuted under section 33 above, any person who would, but for the commutation, be entitled to any exemption in respect of drainage rates (either absolutely as being the person subject to the obligation or conditionally on performance of the obligation) shall be entitled absolutely to a like exemption.

(2)The sum to be paid in respect of the commutation of any obligation under section 33 above shall be such sum as the [F1 relevant authority ] in question may, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (4) below, by order determine; and the sum so determined shall—

(a)be payable by way either of a capital sum or of a terminable annuity for a period not exceeding thirty years, at the option of the owner;

(b)be charged on the land in respect of which the obligation existed; and

(c)have priority over any other incumbrances (whenever created) charged on that land by the owner thereof, other than charges (whenever created) under the M1Improvement of Land Act 1864.

(3)Any capital sum or terminable annuity fixed under this section shall, notwithstanding any agreement to the contrary between the owner and any lessee of the land, be payable by the owner.

(4)For the purpose of determining the sum to be paid in respect of the commutation of any obligation, the [F2 relevant authority ] in question shall—

(a)ascertain the amount which, in the opinion of the [F3 relevant authority ], fairly represents the probable average annual cost, taking one year with another, of carrying out and maintaining in a due state of efficiency the works which are required to be carried out and maintained by virtue of the obligation to be commuted; and

(b)fix the capital sum or terminable annuity to be paid in respect of the commutation accordingly.

(5)In fixing any such capital sum or terminable annuity no account shall be taken of so much of the probable annual average cost as, in the opinion of the [F4 relevant authority ] in question, is attributable to the fact that, by reason of—

(a)improvements effected since 1st January 1900 in the drainage of the land drained by a main river; or

(b)alterations effected since that date in the method of cultivation thereof,

the volume of water which is discharged into a main river at any time is greater than it would have been if those improvements or alterations had not been effected.

(6)If any person is aggrieved by any determination of the [F5 relevant authority ] under this section as regards the sum to be paid in respect of the commutation of any obligation, he may, at any time within three months after the date on which the [F6 authority ] notify him of the determination, require the matter to be referred to the arbitration of a single arbitrator to be appointed, in default of agreement, by the President of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

(7)On any reference under subsection (6) above the arbitrator may either confirm, vary or set aside the determination of the [F7 relevant authority ] in question, as he thinks proper.

(8)An order under this section may contain provisions with respect to the persons by whom all or any of the expenses incurred by the appropriate Minister or other persons in connection with the making or confirmation of the order are to be borne.

(9)A record of any such charge as is mentioned in subsection (2) above shall be entered in a register to be kept for the purpose by an authorised officer of the [F8 relevant authority ]; and a copy of any such record purporting to be certified by such an officer as a true copy shall be receivable in evidence in all legal proceedings.

Textual Amendments

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1Ss. 33 and 34 modified(01.12.91)by Water Resources Act 1991 (c. 57, SIF 130), ss. 107(4), 225(2).

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