Securing a site

Securing a Site

Site selection is one of the most important aspects of a community renewable energy project, which without development cannot proceed. A site must have -

  • Good technical potential - e.g. a suitable wind resource, close to a grid connection.
  • Environmental suitability - e.g. not in a sensitive area that may be adversely affected by the development.
  • Landowners willing to look at hosting renewable energy infrastructure.

This page and the corresponding module focuses on community groups looking to secure leases from a third party landowner rather than owning the land themselves.

The following steps are a simplified process that can be incorporated into your Project Development Plan -

Site selection - this is the first step in the process and involves choosing a site with appropriate renewable resources, any landowner issues and understanding any grid constraints (see page on grid connection for further details).

Engagement with landowner/parties - renewable energy installations often require negotiation with several landowners either for the physical citing of the turbines, or access for construction. Legal agreements will need to be drawn up (see page on legal issues for more information).

Heads of terms - this is the agreement on commercial terms between the community group and the landowner/third party.

Options and draft lease - work with solicitors to put in place to grant necessary development rights.

Planning application/post planning consent - discuss planning application and land use proposals with landowner.

Post planning consent - formalise any outstanding issues with landowner and enter formal lease.

Construction - development begins and on-going impact assessment.

To download the securing a site module - click here

Further information

The Ace for Communities site from NEF includes information on identifying a site and securing planning permission.

The Plan LoCal site from CSE provides information on the planning system in general and how you can get involved with it to help drive low carbon development.

The planning practice guidance site brings together guidance for England in an accessible way. The site enables community groups to link easily between the National Planning Policy Framework and relevant Government planning practice guidance.


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