Renewables - photovoltaics
Foot Anstey has acted on an enormous number of proposals relating to solar photovoltaic schemes.
One of our clients had been contacted by numerous renewable energy companies making a proposition for the development and leasing of his land. Together with our client we interviewed many of these developers before deciding on an appropriate one. The documentation arrived and was wholly insufficient. In conjunction with our client we negotiated appropriate documentation containing important safeguards for the client and also improving the commercial terms being offered to him. As a result of this work subsequent clients have been able to sign up quickly with this particular developer on good terms and with confidence.
Acting for the executors of a deceased farmer who had farmed under an Agricultural Holdings Act tenancy in partnership with his grandson.
The Landlord served a Case G Notice to Quit and then a claim for possession against the grandson (who had failed to make a succession application to the ALT) and a claim for damages against the Executors for failing to yield up the property with vacant possession at the expiry of the Notice to Quit. The grandson sought to argue that he was the tenant of the holding by Estoppel and defended the claim.
The Executor issued a Part 20 Claim against the grandson and defended on the basis that the claim was ill-conceived as the grandson did not assert his right of occupation by virtue of the original tenant rather by virtue of a new tenancy by estoppel. The grandson was supported by the NFU Legal Assistance Panel due to its likely impact on the grandson’s livelihood and issues of importance raised.
Foot Anstey successfully settled the case on behalf of the Executors on the basis that the claim by the landlord was dropped. The Executors costs were paid.
From a legal perspective, the case raised complicated issues arising out of the succession of an agricultural holding and farming partnerships. For the Executors, as the Estate had already been distributed to 13 beneficiaries, it may have meant significant personal liability and consequential claims to reclaim the distribution if an order for damages and costs had been made. The outcome was therefore extremely satisfactory.
As legal panel solicitors for the NFU in Devon and Cornwall, we have acted for landowners on over 80 solar panel schemes. These include large scale ground-based and roof-mounted schemes. We are also advising an installer of photovoltaic panels on the proposed installation of roof-mounted systems on a number of commercial and leisure premises.
Variation of the agreement
Foot Anstey acted for a client who had acquired an agricultural dwelling. The dwelling was subject to the usual planning condition that it could only be occupied by someone who was wholly or mainly employed in agriculture. In addition the house was tied to the whole of the land comprised within his ownership by means of an agreement under Section 52 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971.
Our client was in the process of separating from his wife and she required approximately half of the land within the holding.
The options open to our client were to seek a discharge of the covenants in the agreement by application to the then Lands Tribunal, or to seek a variation of the agreement with the Council. Following careful examination of the policy framework and supporting evidence, we were able to persuade the Council to agree a variation which had the dual purpose of facilitating the divorce settlement as well as continuing to provide a viable unit from which he could operate.
Devon Wind Power Limited
This company, one of the South West region’s leading renewable energy companies, acquired permission for a 22 turbine 66 megawatt wind farm located to the north of Barnstaple. We advised the shareholders of Devon Wind Power in relation to the multi-million pound sale of their shares in the company to the ESB Group, the Irish state owned electricity utility. This wind farm, once constructed, will make a huge contribution towards delivering Devon's target of 103 megawatts of renewable energy from on-shore wind power, and will generate sufficient electricity to serve the needs of nearly 30,000 domestic customers. Taking over six months to complete, the deal included the drafting and negotiation of a complex deferred consideration mechanism and security package.