Project Name
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Client
Southern Gas Networks

Northern Ireland


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Gas to the West

  • £250m total project investment
  • 4-year project timeframe from referencing to completion of construction and easements
  • 77km of high-pressure cross-country transmission pipeline at an 85-bar operating pressure
  • 2 off-takes from Gas Networks Ireland (UK) network
  • 6 above-ground installations
  • 128km length of intermediate pressure pipelines to connect 8 towns to HP network
  • 500km low and medium pressure installations
  • 8 district pressure governors (DPGs) installed
  • 8 towns connected to natural gas supply
  • 40,000 potential customers

DM's achievements

  • 670 landowners referenced within emerging route corridor
  • 176km aggregate length of routing options referenced by DM on HP pipeline
  • 600 ground investigation surveys requiring access
  • 300 legal consents required
  • 4 successful Necessary Wayleave applications

Land Rights Strategy for the construction of a gas transmission pipeline in Northern Ireland

A high profile and extremely fast-track project requiring consent in a very short timescale. We were required to develop a strategy for acquiring land rights, which was put to the Northern Ireland Regulator and approved. Payments to landowners were standardised across the scheme to streamline the process by reducing the requirement for negotiation on a case by case basis.

The strategy included an incentivised consenting process and a bespoke schedule of payments developed in consultation with various stakeholders, including landowners and producer bodies. Whilst development of the process was driven by the objective of reducing the need for negotiation, the success of this approach is derived from high level consultation with landowners and stakeholders, prior to launching the consenting process.

The standardised payments included:

  • A time-sensitive option sum and an easement consideration based on the length of pipeline across each land parcel,
  • Crop loss and disturbance split across farming sectors and calculated on an area basis,
  • Standard payments for intrusive survey works,
  • Structured payment of reasonable professional fees.

Following 12 months of consultation with landowners, stakeholders and landowner organisations such as the Ulster Farmers Union, we used this strategy to obtain the consents and obtained 98% of consents within the 12-week deadline. Construction was implemented under an option agreement and the easements will complete on issue of as-laid plans.

The combination of a financial incentive for quick sign up and plenty of investment in building relationships with the landowners early on pays dividends in terms of timely delivery, especially on projects with compressed timescales.