ELECTRIC CARS – GOOD OR BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT?

Electric cars do not emit CO² fumes so the answer to this question should be straightforward.

However, if you are a neighbour to a Solar Scheme now required to look across acres and acres of panels your answer may be very different.

In Planning Law there is no right to protect your view so you only have control if you own it.

As a Landowner who is approached by a Company wishing to rent land for solar panels with a guaranteed income between £750 and £1,000 per acre per annum it requires more thought.  There is no doubt electric cars will increase the demand for electric over the next 30 years and “Green Electric” generation needs to be at the forefront.

There is some serious finance available through the City of London as the money men have seen this opportunity and they have put some smooth-talking operators out in the field to sign up exclusivity agreements on land which is close to a connection to the Grid.

If you are approached, please consider the following points and take professional advice, as we can now compare information from a number of schemes in Yorkshire.

  1. Exclusivity Agreement – when you sign this the Operator applies for a grid connection. That is their connection, and you cannot deal with anyone else, for the period of that agreement (usually two years).
  2. Option Agreement – this usually follows an offer of a grid connection to the Operator and is an Option to lease your land for up to 40 years. It includes a draft Lease.  Make sure you are satisfied with:-
  • Rent and rent reviews
  • Break clauses and length of Lease
  • Reinstatement Bond
  • Land drainage issues
  • Access and fencing
  • Maintenance and grazing opportunities and many more details.
  1. Lease Agreement – this only becomes binding when the operator has a grid connection, a planning consent, and the financial backing, and exercises the Option.

Above all, understand your tax position.  A useful income is not so useful if you end up paying 40% Inheritance Tax on the death of the owner.  It can be avoided with the right advice at the outset.

A Solar Scheme can present a guaranteed income to replace BPS but don’t rush a 40 year commitment, and do seek advice (even if you don’t follow it).

Be aware of the smooth-talking solar operators (and the reaction of your neighbours!).

 

Rod Cordingley

  • Property Search

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