The number of solar farms in the North West has increased in recent months, particularly in Cheshire and Shropshire, with many Rostons’ clients reporting they have been approached by operators sounding out the potential for a solar farm on their land.
While a number of solar farms granted planning permission has been steadily rising in the south of the country, it is only in recent months that interest from the various operators has moved northwards.
In Tony Rimmer’s view, the reason for this gradual creep north is because so many southern sites have obtained planning consent that there isn’t the network capacity in many locations to cope – leaving developers out in the cold.
In Tony’s experience there are a plethora of different operators – some reputable and some not. While the headline rent of between £800 and £1,000 per acre attracts immediate interest from some farmers, there are more factors to consider, not least clean-up bonds.
Protecting you, the landowner, is essential as part of any deal and this one issue alone requires extreme care. The clean-up bond demands that, at the end of the scheme, the developer still has the obligation to remove the panels so that the field can be reinstated to agricultural use.
Other factors include the period and basis of rent reviews, Single Farm Payment and possible changes to the taxation regime on the land and in particular issues potentially with inheritance tax.
If you are approached and require assistance please contact the Rostons office.