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We need to bring wayleave process into the 21st Century

The wayleave process is often slow, complex and costly. Steve Blackshaw explores what can be done to modernise it.

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We need to bring wayleave process into the 21st Century

By Steve Blackshaw Linkedin
Head of Professional Services Portfolio, BT Wholesale

Bringing the wayleave process into the 21st Century

It’s hard to believe that a term first used in the 15th century in England is still giving us problems. The current process to obtain a wayleave can take over a hundred days, from initial application through to the final signing. Its complexity is often astounding. With countless stakeholders and interested parties, it’s no wonder that more than 11 per cent never actually make it through to the final stage. The knock-on effect is that businesses lose money, services are disrupted and customers face delays to services by as much as 60 plus days. It’s all a bit, well, stuck in the middle ages.

So this begs the question; how do we modernise the process, accelerate the information sharing and decision making and ensure a greater success rate? If you consider the key issues then it is possible to counter them with new thinking and alternative actions. Currently wayleaves are managed at least once per week and within a 90-day window and can then be closed, regardless of status. Customers have a single channel and priority in engaging the process and standard reporting is triggered at three points across the process, with no deviation. There is a lot of data to consume and too many stakeholders with vested interests leading to too much rigidity with extremely demanding service level agreements on both the landowner and customer side.

What if we could change all that, simplify the process, speed up the delivery date and ensure a reduced failure rate?

By providing a managed wayleave service with a single point of contact, that’s exactly what we are doing. Through a detailed study of where wayleave processes go awry, we have understood the essential need for simplifying the management, a key reason behind our deal with Cluttons, a specialist property management business. As well as providing a single point of contact, it’s also important to provide a single point of data and reporting and stakeholder management. This means that through Cluttons, we can analyse delays and identify resolutions using the firm’s specialist property management knowledge and tooling, to negotiate grantor fees or resolve on-going lease issues, quickly.

The result so far has been a 57 percent reduction in the time it takes to completion, with wayleaves signed within 49 days on average. We’ve also seen a 71 percent reduction in customer delays, which is good for everyone. This means better returns on investment for customers, increased rate of successful wayleaves and ultimately improved service provision. Welcome to the 21st century.

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