The UK government has issued a call for evidence across Great Britain seeking views from network companies, landowners, land agents, planning authorities, developers and electric vehicles chargepoint installers, on current land rights and consents processes for installation of electricity network infrastructure. This is to help it establish whether current land rights and consenting processes for electricity network infrastructure are fit to accommodate a rapid, transformative change to the electricity network that it says will be required in the coming decades (including for example, an estimated 25-75% increase to network cabling for the distribution network).
This is part of the drive to deliver net zero by 2050 and the recently announced British Energy Security Strategy, in which the UK Government has committed to dramatically reducing timelines for delivery of transmission (high-voltage) network infrastructure and to speed up the connections process for the distribution (low-voltage) network.
The objectives of the Strategy are to:
- decarbonise the electricity system by 2035.
- phase out of all new non-zero emission road vehicles by 2040 (subject to consultation).
- install 600,000 heat pumps per year by 2028.
- deliver up to 50GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030.
- deploy up to 24GW of civil nuclear by 2050
The UK Government cites telecommunications network operators and water companies as having better rights to access land than those of electricity network operators; and seeks to use their position as a comparative tool.
The consultation is seeking views on issues such as land access and acquisition, statutory consents for overhead lines and permitted development rights for substations, voluntary and necessary wayleaves, and proposals to streamline the compulsory purchase of land.
All stakeholders are encouraged to take part. More details on how to respond are available here
The consultation closes on 15 September 2022.
If you have concerns or questions about this call for evidence or how the consultation may impact on you or your business, please do not hesitate to get in touch with your usual Brodies contact.