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Client
Ørsted

Norfolk


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Hornsea Project Three Offshore Wind Farm

Brief

Dalcour Maclaren is instructed to act on behalf of Ørsted in relation to the Hornsea Project Three Offshore Wind Farm, a 2.4GW project requiring Development Consent.

Ørsted is one of the leading energy groups in Northern Europe, headquartered in Denmark, with the UK head office in Central London and numerous site offices around the UK. They are the world leader in developing, constructing and operating offshore wind farms, with over 5GW of constructed capacity globally.

The project involves a c.53km onshore underground cable route, one onshore substation and possibly one onshore High Voltage Alternating Current (HVAC) booster station to be located in Norfolk. The proposed generation capacity of the project classes it as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) and is therefore required to follow process and legislation within the Planning Act 2008.

Dalcour Maclaren has been supporting the project since 2016 and is responsible for land referencing, procuring and coordinating access to private land for survey purposes, engaging with c.80 affected stakeholders along a refined route, negotiating land rights, advising and inputting on DCO deliverables and negotiating compensation claims.

Risks and Constraints

There are key risks and constraints associated with Land Referencing and taking access over private land which Dalcour Maclaren has overcome.

A large proportion of rural land in the UK is still not registered with HM Land Registry, meaning that information regarding the owners, lessees and/or other interests is not readily available. We used several methods to identify these unregistered interests: consultation with local landowners, occupiers, residents and land agents, visiting local properties, reviewing Open Source GIS data and posting site notices. Through a combination of all these methods, we were able to identify all interests along the c.53km route.

Consent to access private land is not always voluntarily forthcoming and therefore alternative options must be considered. Under either Section 172 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 or Section 53 of the Planning Act 2008, powers to take access to land for survey purposes are available to the project. Dalcour Maclaren has advised Ørsted on the use of these powers and the associated processes.

Solutions

Under Section 42 of the Planning Act 2008, applicants have a duty to consult statutory consultees, including parties with an interest in the affected land, local authorities and other stakeholders regarding the development proposals. Dalcour Maclaren has been heavily involved in this process by; installing and monitoring public notices along the proposed route corridor, attending public consultation events, directly consulting with potentially affected parties, monitoring, collating and responding to feedback from land interests.

Site Notices that are required to identify unregistered land parcels along the route, were managed using an ArcGIS Collector App on iPhones in coordination with our Geomatics team. The app enabled us to accurately identify the location of the notices using our phones’ GPS, take pictures and record notes of each notice (such as time and date of inspection, and condition), upload the recorded data automatically to the online software and produce a summary report for our client.

Results

We have been supporting the production of a Book of Reference which forms part of the application for Development Consent and has been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS).

Dalcour Maclaren is now negotiating Heads of Terms for Option Agreements over the land on behalf of Ørsted. Our aim is to conclude Voluntary Agreements in every case without having to rely on the use of the compulsory acquisition provisions within the DCO application.

To find out more about our CPO and DCO services, please contact Andrew Barker andrew.barker@dalcourmaclaren.com.