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Posted By Topic: Neighbours private lines above our shelter belt

Nov 03 2018 16:15


We have private power lines on the boundary on our neighbours side but these result in the lines etc running over the top of our shelter belt hedge.
Lines at the slack are below the legal height of 5.2 metres. So far every year we have cut but as at the slack is at around 3.5 metres the lines are always still in the hedge. As well as their is the cost which is expensive do we legally have to maintain our hedge which is on our property when the neighbours privately owned lines are directly above. Neighbour is hassling us all the time and power company is stating they are at an illegal height. Any help much appreciated.

Nov 03 2018 17:31

Im struggling to picture this. Do the lines pass over your property, then cross the shelter belt to the neighbour\'s property? Which lines company owns the lines?

Nov 03 2018 18:00

Our shelter belt is on our side of the fence the poles on the other so the cross arms and wires are almost half on our property as the poles are so close to boundry. The first part does run over part of our property from the road as well.

Nov 03 2018 20:37

I expect the lines company\'s right to have the poles there will hark back to power board days. Little chance of having them moved at someone else\'s expense.

The minimum height required is probably buried in whatever old regulation was in place when they were installed.

Since they pass over your hedge you are obliged to keep the hedge trimmed at your cost.

You may have grounds to request the lines company retension the lines if they sag to an unsafe height. You could escalate to Worksafe if they refuse to rectify unsafe lines.

Finally, if the sag is due to poorly maintained lines you may argue that the harsher trimming required is depriving you of your quiet enjoyment of your hedge. You\'ll still have to trim but possibly a little higher.

Nov 04 2018 07:34

Hi thanks but as I said in my post these are not owned by the power company they are privately owned. I have been told that whether they are private or not the must be above the legal height of 5.2 meters. There is no easement that I can see for the lines that over hang our property and yet we get personally hassled by one of the owners of the said lines to cut the hedge that is on our own property.
Surely there is some obilalgation by the private owners of these lines to maintain or remove them from encroaching onto our property?

Nov 04 2018 09:13

Check your title, if there is no easement registered you have every right to demand that they remove the lines from over YOUR property. It wont improve relations but might make them sit up and reassess their position.
If the lines sag below the legal height then that part needs to be pursued through perhaps worksafe or perhaps an Inspector that has a bit of clout. I\'m surprised that the lines company weren\'t interested in the illegal height.

Nov 04 2018 09:41

Out of interest, where are you getting the 5.2m from? Do you know what type of lines they are - bare or insulated?

Nov 04 2018 10:07

The 5.2 metres has come from the power supply company. There are 2 sets on the line 11kv and 33kv which I think is HV.
Some of the lines are 30 years old and poles are over 70 meters apart so a major sag.

Nov 04 2018 10:08

Probably not \"lines\" either; most likely is \"mains\", and part of your neighbour\'s installation.

Pre 1993, the Supply authority (Power Board or similar) owned the wires right up to where they attached to the house. Now the demarcation between \"works\" & \"installation\" - the \"point of supply\" (PoS) - is generally at the boundary crossing downstream of the supply fuse. In a rural area, on a legacy site, the PoS may be the load side of the supply fuse with the conductors supplying that being \"works\" over private land.

Easements weren\'t required under the old rules. Supply Authorities had automatic right to run their conductors pretty much where they wanted to. These days any such \"aerial trespass\" needs an easement before it can be established.

So if these cables are owned by the lines company, they\'ll have legacy rights and you have to trim your trees.
If the conductors crossing your trees are now part of the neighbourt\'s installation; they\'ll still have some legacy rights but you may not be under the same obligation to cut your trees.

First thing to do is establish where the neighbour\'s PoS is, so start by identifying location of their supply fuse. But whatever the legal situation turns out to be, friendly discussion is always cheaper than lawyers\' letters.

Nov 04 2018 11:26

If those are HV mains then precautions are required before using pruners, cherry pickers or any similar machine near them.
Better contact Worksafe for advice.

Nov 04 2018 14:36

Barney124 ECP34 Minimum Safe Distances table 4 describes the minimum height above ground as 4.5m for the 11kV and 5.5m for 33kV. Add another meter if vehicles drive under the lines.

Nov 05 2018 08:43

Agree with Alek - knowing where the point of supply is is an important part of this discussion. What may also help with this discussion is if you have any evidence of whether the trees or lines were there first. I am surprised that the customer can own lines on someone elses property (pre 1992 without easement) as these would normally be considered works (ie owned by the lines co). However there may be some exception to the situation that I do not know about.

Please keep us posted on the outcome - I am interested in where this goes.


Nov 06 2018 17:42

If they privately owned, are over your property and there is no covenant on your title then it\'s a simple matter of aerial trespass.

Serve a notice on the owner of the lines to remove them forthwith. If they come back and want to negotiate then let them pay for the trimming. If they don\'t then play very hardball and tell them to remove their wires.