Our renewable energy developer clients are telling us that alongside the challenges of obtaining grid connections and planning permission, a key issue that has emerged is getting land deals done, and 2024 will be a key year for putting land rights in place for new projects.

We have thought a lot about how to get land deals done quickly for our clients and here are some of the key points which developers can bear in mind:

  • Agree clear heads of terms at the start of the process. These should include a clear plan and not taking more land than is required for the project. If possible, accesses and cable routes should be identified at an early stage.
  • Agree timing milestones with the landowner and their lawyers and land agents at the start of the process for eg return of drafts, replies to enquiries and an all-parties’ meeting.
  • Start with a balanced, reasonable draft option and lease.
  • Go and see the landowner in person to resolve any issues which come up during the process.
  • Ask the landowner to chase their solicitor if they are not responding in a timely fashion.
  • Have an all-parties’ call after one or two turns of the document to get all outstanding points agreed.
  • The developer’s solicitor must continue to chase and be responsive and proactive.
  • Possibly incentivise landowners with a bonus payment if the deal is done quickly.

The Burges Salmon team is always happy to speak to developers who would like to get their land deals done quickly!