Infrastructure & Energy
DWD has unrivalled experience in advising owners and operators of infrastructure and energy developments across the UK on planning, property and business rates matters. DWD has a long track record of advising on energy developments and can bring in-depth knowledge and insights to the development of solar, battery energy storage, low carbon thermal generation, hydrogen production, carbon capture, usage and storage, energy from waste and gas and electrical transmission and grid stability projects at all scales.
The Property Advisors team assists clients with the acquisition of land for energy and infrastructure uses and are experienced at negotiating Option Agreements. By working with our planning colleagues, we help deliver the acquisition of land with implementable consent for conventional and renewable energy uses and infrastructure projects.
We have one of the UK’s largest property expert witness team, working with lawyers and solicitors to provide expert witness services. Our team are highly-trained professionals whose experience, expertise and training allow us to provide a practical approach that helps to minimise legal costs through protracted litigation.
The Business Rates team help clients to mitigate business rate liabilities arise throughout the property lifecycle. Prior to occupation, there may be opportunities to take advantage of empty property exemptions and negotiate the effective dates for any rate liability to commence. Where construction activity is involved in providing a new facility it may be possible to remove any empty rate liability completely or substantially reduce liability for many months or even years.
During the operational phase of a project the team review when there is reconfiguration or expansion major overhaul works to look at the possibility of reducing the liability for business rates. At the end of the project’s life the empty property’s rate liability will need to be carefully managed. We develop different strategies dependent on any demolition or redevelopment plans and any lead in times to works commencing. We help with exemptions in excess of the statutory minimums are often achievable as are exemptions to reflect the phased vacation of projects.
We provide annual budget liability forecast for existing properties and provide budget advice for any proposed new projects that you may be considering taking. We check and authorise rate demands, reducing your internal administration burden. We also offer advice on Business Rate Audits which review historic liability issues and often yield significant savings. To ensure the accuracy and appropriateness of information supplied, we also complete Valuation Officer requests for information on our clients’ behalf.
DWD has extensive experience in planning and consenting for large-scale infrastructure and energy projects. This includes securing consents under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and the Electricity Act 1989 to the current Development Consent Order (DCO) regime for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) introduced by the Planning Act 2008. We have acted on numerous NSIPs since the inception of the Planning Act 2008. We are often instructed at the very start of the process, assisting clients in structuring their teams to successfully deliver DCOs, using our experience across a wide range of different projects, and continue to advise throughout the preparation and submission of the application to its examination. This ranges from advice on policy, consultation, programme and process to internal governance. We can act with a wider team to deliver documents for consultation and can prepare the planning documents which typically accompany DCOs including the Planning Statement, Design and Access Statement, and Consultation Report, as well as providing input to the drafting of the DCO itself. We frequently support clients during the examination, including at the hearings. The move to Net Zero has also seen a significant rise in the number of low carbon and renewable energy projects we have been involved in across the country. To date we have provided planning and consenting support on over 60 solar and battery energy storage projects including DCO solar developments such as Mallard Pass in Lincolnshire and major industrial decarbonisation projects such as Net Zero Teesside and H2Teesside. We have also acted in relation to significant aviation projects from advising on large scale airport development to land-side warehousing and commercial developments.
Infrastructure & Energy
Sectors we work with
We work with businesses, charities, high net worth individuals and public sector organisations across a range of sectors to navigate the complexities of property and planning consultancy.
Battery Energy Storage Systems (‘BESS’) Projects
DWD is at the forefront of consenting and delivering larger Battery Energy Storage Systems (‘BESS’) projects.Experience
Gateway Energy Centre (Battery Energy Storage System), Thurrock
DWD supported InterGen in obtaining full planning permission for the Gateway Energy Centre Battery Energy Storage System (‘BESS’) from Thurrock Borough Council. The 450MW project represents one of the largest BESS projects to be consented in the UK.Experience
Mallard Pass Solar Farm
Mallard Pass is a 880 hectare site predominantly on farmland adjacent to Essendine, Lincolnshire. The project falls across two local authority boundaries (Rutland and South Kesteven) who have both declared climate emergencies. The developer, Windel Energy, are proposing a 350MW solar photovoltaic farm with the potential for inclusion of battery storage to deliver clean, renewable energy to around 92,000 homes.Experience
Links Solar Farm
Links Solar Farm is a 65 hectare site on farmland at Braintree, Essex. The Braintree District Council has declared a climate emergency. The developer, Low Carbon, wanted to develop a solar photovoltaic farm with battery storage that would operate for 40 years and provide clean, renewable energy for over 11,000 local homes.Experience