Anaerobic Digester Wayleave

I suspect the first question you’ll have is What on earth is a wayleave?

It’s a right of way granted by a landowner typically for such  purposes such as the erection of telephone/power lines or laying of pipes. Generally a payment is made to the landowner.

In order for the anaerobic digester at Great Hele to get its gas to the mains gas network a pipe has to be laid to the nearest access point. South Molton Town Council were offered, and accepted, a payment of about £14,000 to allow the pipe to cross their land.

This payment was quoted by the developer at a planning meeting as one reason why the development should be granted planning permission. In their words “there will be community benefit as a substantial [!} payment will be paid to South Molton Town Council”.

Has this been paid? No.

Will it ever be paid? No.

Why not? Because the pipe is taking a longer, but apparently cheaper, route and largely being laid under the public highway. That’s why Limers Lane and the road past Ford Down Farm have been closed!

Utility companies (e.g. gas, electricity and power companies) have so-called Code Powers. This means they can lay cables and pipes under public roads without having to pay a way leave.

I suspect that what has happened in this case is that the rules have been bent and the gas pipe from the digester to the gas mains has been deemed to have been laid by a utility company! Another case of private profit at public expense.