An extremely important part of the connections process is securing correct and timely legal permissions for the plant and equipment we install. We pay particular close attention to this as multiple parties can be involved. We take a very proactive approach to ensure the entire process is synchronised and sufficient time is allowed to ensure power on deadlines are met.
Legal permissions we secure range from:
A wayleave is a licence which can be terminated does not automatically bind future owners of the property. It gives Distribution Network Owners rights to install and retain their apparatus (such as underground cables or overhead lines) with payments being made to the grantor. A wayleave will normally contain provision for termination at the expiry of a notice period (commonly 12 months).
A termed wayleave is slightly different, it confers the same rights as above but will normally contain provision for termination at the expiry of a defined term (for example 15 years) and then after the expiry of a notice period (commonly 12 months)
Easement (also known as a Deed of Grant)
An easement is an interest in land capable of being registered at the Land Registry in order to ensure that future owners of the land adhere to it. As with a wayleave, it grants rights for Distribution Network Owners to retain their apparatus either for an indefinite period or possibly a specified number of years. Whilst an easement can last indefinitely it may be terminated. It may also incorporate terms requiring the apparatus to be relocated or compensation paid where development of the property or land is inhibited by the presence of the plant or equipment.
For electric substations to be placed the Distribution Network Owners will require rights over the land the substation is sited on. It will also access rights over any private land vehicles or people will need to cross in order to gain access to the substation and rights for cables emanating from the substation.
These rights are normally secured on 99-year lease agreements or sometimes by the transfer of the freehold of the land to the Distribution Network Owner.
These rights will need to be granted by the incumbent landowner at the time the agreement is made. This needs to be noted as on some development sites there are land transfers planned following the completion of the development. For example, from the developer to the new site owner.
Our role in this process covers these activities
- Identification of land owners and any tenants on both 1st and 3rd party land. We carry out Land Registry searches and use local knowledge to back this up.
- Identify the correct legal permissions that the Distribution Network Owners will require for the development
- Draw a legal plan for each Grantor that sets out the land over which we require rights and the plant or equipment to be installed
- Negotiate with all Grantors and confirm their agreement in writing for the legal permission and obtain their solicitor details where this is required
- Deliver a full package of documents (legal drawing, written agreement to the legal permission and solicitor details) to the Distribution Network Owner so their Solicitors can complete the agreement with the Grantor’s solicitors
- Monitor the completion process and keep project team advised of progress