Motive Matters … Can land owners rely on redevelopment plans to resist Code rights?

It has been almost 18 months since the new Electronic Communications Code changed the legal landscape for telecoms operators and land owners. At its core, the Code is a framework for operators to obtain rights to install their apparatus on private land. The policy behind the Code is to improve our communications infrastructure so that the public has access to a choice of high quality telecoms networks. Once an operator has Code rights, they can only be terminated on limited statutory grounds and it is often a lengthy and complex process. However, land owners can oppose the grant of Code rights if they intend to redevelop their land and could not reasonably do so if Code rights were granted. The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber), which is the judicial body tasked with resolving disputes under the Code, has now released its first decision on this issue.

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