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Farms: Utilities

Volume 470: debated on Tuesday 8 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what obligation there is on utility companies to observe cross-compliance regulations when entering farm land; and if he will make a statement. (174452)

[holding answer 17 December 2007]: Domestic legislation in England (SI 2005 No. 3459) provides for a claimant to be exempted from a cross compliance standard where the laying, construction or maintenance of a pipeline, cable or pylon under statutory authority is incompatible with meeting the standard (paragraph 4 (3 )(a) and (b)). Ordinarily, if a claimant thinks such work might be incompatible with meeting a standard, in advance of the work being carried out, they should approach the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) for an exemption. This should safeguard the position of both the statutory undertaker and the claimant.

There will be emergency situations where such advance requests are not possible. In such circumstances, if a claimant finds the work was incompatible with a standard, they would be advised to write to RPA to safeguard their position.