Landowners’ position may be strengthened following recent decision regarding Telecoms Code
Following a significant change in the rules governing telecoms operators at the end of 2017, there have been several decisions issued by the tribunals on how the new (UK-wide) rules should be interpreted. A recent case report provides some helpful guidance on points that may affect landowners’ negotiations and contracts with telecoms operators, most notably on the way rents for telecoms sites are to be determined.
The case was CTIL v Compton Beauchamp Estates Limited, the decision in which was published on 3 April 2019 by the Upper Tribunal in England. There were two main issues of interest in the case.
CTIL is a joint venture of Vodafone and Telefonica. Whenever either Vodafone or Telefonica have a telecoms lease up for renewal, CTIL tend to take over the site. In the Compton Beauchamp case, Vodafone’s contractual lease of the site was terminated by the landowner, but Vodafone remained in lawful occupation of the site under the authority of the Telecoms Code. CTIL issued Code notices seeking that the landowner be ordered by the court to grant them Code rights, and therefore compulsory access, to the site (see our previous article – When can a Telecoms Operator gain compulsory access to your site?).
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