Race is on to find sites suitable for battery storage but farmers urged not to be blindsided by developers

Race is on to find sites suitable for battery storage but farmers urged not to be blindsided by developers

Renewables experts at Bell Ingram are urging farmers to think carefully about the potential impact on their business before agreeing to leasing land for renewables projects.

As the UK works towards its target to operate a zero-carbon electricity system by 2035, the race is on to find sites available for large scale battery storage, solar, hydrogen and wind projects.

With such high demand, farmers are being approached up and down the country by developers offering the incentive of a substantial additional income to lease their land.

For many the approach is an attractive proposition. However, Rhona Booth, Land Agent and Senior Associate at Bell Ingram believes farmers must think about the implications on their businesses before signing on the dotted line.

Rhona says: “The UK is completely transforming the way in which we distribute energy and this will have a huge knock on effect for landowners and occupiers across the country. As a result, we are experiencing an increase in enquiries from farmers and clients who have been approached by developers looking for land for new renewables projects, in particular solar and battery storage.

“While there are certainly good deals to be done, especially for those looking for a solid retiral or succession plan, there is a long list of things to take into account when considering if this is the right move for your farming business.

“Infrastructure projects such as these require land, not just for the footprint of the site, but for access, construction compounds and habitat management plans, which is a much bigger commitment than most realise. One must also consider the logistics of getting the land back at the end of the lease and the reinstatement of working crops.

“Therefore, farmers must weigh up the effects on their current business and future plans as well as the potential for depreciation on home value and assets against the likely financial gain.”

For more information on leasing land for renewables projects, or if you have been contacted by a developers about leasing land and want to make sure you are getting a fair deal, contact Rhona Booth on 01738 621121 or email rhona.booth@bellingram.co.uk

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Rhona Booth

Rhona Booth

Senior Associate, MRICS
Rural Land Management
Tel: 01307 462516

About: Rhona is a highly experienced RICS Chartered Surveyor and Registered Valuer working across Perthshire and Angus advising on all aspects of estate and farm management, including landlord and tenant negotiations, telecommunication mast agreements, utility projects and CPO compensation claims. In addition, Rhona can undertake a range of rural valuations for a variety of purposes as a Registered Valuer. Rhona joined Bell Ingram in 2020 and has over 20 years’ experience in the sector. Interests: Rural Land Management, Valuations, Utilities, Renewable Energy, Agricultural Tenancy Advisor, MRICS Registered Valuer.

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