Residential development

Have an eye to the future before agreeing an easement

In spite of recent changes to the subsidy regime and receiving a rough ride from both local communities and planning authorities, land is still being sought in earnest up and down the country for renewable energy development projects. We are still seeing considerable interest from landowners as the rental income (which can be around £1000 per acre) continues to make renewable energy developments an attractive revenue generator. However, regardless of the immediate financial inducements, it is crucial that all elements of the agreement between the developer and landowner are scrutinised, not least the easement agreements covering the connection with the national grid.

First legal challenge to CIL on basis of a development’s future viability

The Conservatives’ pre-election promise to abolish the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) was quietly swept under the carpet by the Coalition government which has not only kept the levy but has continued to tweak it. We have now arrived at the point where approximately 25% of local authorities have either adopted a CIL charging schedule or are in the process of doing so. In the first case of its kind, a developer has challenged the basis on which Chorley Borough Council set its charging schedule by citing procedural inaccuracy and that the level of the charge would undermine the viability of the development in question. Although the challenge was unsuccessful, it does open the door for other developers to query both the way in which charging schedules are arrived at and the level at which they are set.
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