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It pays to seek proper advice

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: March 08, 2014

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My firm has advised on many solar farm option and lease agreements and it has become clear that quite often the developer tries to renegotiate the deal once planning consent has been achieved.

This may involve minor alterations to the lease to accommodate a relatively trivial issue which was not foreseen at the outset, but sometimes the developer may attempt a major change. This may involve renegotiating the area of land to be developed or alterations to the terms of the lease. Provided the option and lease have been well drafted these attempts can be resisted but other factors may prevail.

For example, with changes in the subsidy regime approaching, there may be economic reasons for co-operating with some requests.

However it is important that you gain proper professional advice from your lawyer and land agent/surveyor to ensure that agreeing to any alterations will not prejudice your position.

Similarly, even if you do not have or wish to have a renewable energy development on your land you may be approached by a developer looking to connect the electricity supply from a nearby solar park across your land to the grid. Every such connection has a price and you would be wise to take advice because if your land holds the key to a sizeable renewable development you may hold a valuable asset.

I am sure that many farmers and landowners will have been approached by one developeror another. There is usually the promise of a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and in some cases this may come true.

However, the important point is to take knowledgeable professional advice.

As in most instances such advice is paid for by the developer there is no point in stinting on quality guidance.

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