Work has commenced on the UK’s largest solar farm at Didcot in Oxfordshire. INRG Solar obtained planning on the 41MW power plant, which will power over 10,000 households. WebbPaton’s George Paton acted as Land Agent for the farming landowner.
This solar farm will be up and running in early 2014 and will be managed as natural pasture land grazed by sheep to encourage a diversity of flora and fauna. INRG were the developer, with Belectric the long term site Tenant.
CAP Reform / Single Payment – the EU Council of Ministers finally adopted the legal text of the CAP Reform which is due to start in 2015 on 16th December 2013. For details please contact WebbPaton.
Both Swindon Borough Council and Wiltshire Council have heard planning inspectors examining their draft Local Plan / Core Strategy state that they need provision for more dwelllings. Last week the Wiltshire Core Strategy planning inspector wrote to Wiltshire implying that Wiltshire needs to find sites for a further 7,000 dwellings. Earlier this month the Swindon Borough Council Local plan inspector suggested they were 6,000 dwellings short.
George Paton, Development Land Partner at WebbPaton is pleased to advise any landowners approached by a developer, or to look at any farmers’ land to see if it is suitable for any form of development
WebbPaton are pleased to announce that as of 17th January 2014 WebbPaton have acted for the farming clients / landowners on 141 megawatts of solar farm land which is either built or under build.
This equates to approximately £141 million pounds worth of investment in solar pv panels in Wiltshire and Oxfordshire. WebbPaton are very pleased to have acted as land Agents alongside Thrings Solicitors for the landowners of the UK’s largest solar development in build as of today at Landmead Farm, East Hanney, near Didcot, Oxfordshire.
WebbPaton are pleased to announce that planning permission has been granted by the Vale of White Horse District Council on a 41 megawatt solar farm, set within over 203 acres of land. We believe this solar park at East Hanney in Oxfordshire is the largest solar park to obtain plannning permission in the UK.
WebbPaton acted for the land owners in negotiating the Heads of Terms for this solar farm and negotiated with the solar park financiers a robust Clear Up Bond to enable the land to be returned to agriculture when the Lease ends. Work has started this week building this solar pv site.
George Paton of WebbPaton will be talking about solar farms and the Heads of Terms that farmers should be obtaining at two talks in November. On 21st November at the CAAV Midlands Seminars at Crick and on 25th November at the Orion Farming Groups Annual Conference at Abingdon. This follows on from George being one of the guests as a renewables specilaist on BBC Radio Oxford’s Sunday Morning debate last week.
The application window for 2014 NVZ Grassland Derogations opened on 1st October and will close on 31st December 2013. If you farm grazing livestock and at least 80 per cent of your land is grassland, you may be eligible for a derogation from the livestock manure N farm limit. The derogation permits the total loading in livestock manure to increase from 170kg N/ha to 250kg N/ha. For more information, please contact Gemma Drewett or Charlotte Pearson-Wood.
On the basis of DEFRA’s recent confirmation that SPS entitlements will be rolled forward into the next Scheme (and therefore valid for a further 7 years), we are now trading at £300/ha for entitlements with VAT and £330/ha with no VAT. Please contact Susan Elmes if you would like to buy or sell SPS entitlements.
The 2013 SPS Euro exchange rate has been set at €1 = £0.83605. [The 2012 rate was €1 = £0.79805.] However, to balance the EU budget, it is expected that DEFRA will be required to apply a 4% financial discipline reduction to Single Payment claims over €2,000, which will offset the favourable exchange rate.
What are you burning on your bonfire on 5th November? Have fun but remember you should not be burning plastic, treated wood or cardboard – the Environment Agency inspectors are watching! WebbPaton’s sister company Farm XS collects across most of England and recycles farm plastic and paper. For more details about this farmer friendly and practical recycling scheme speak to Catherine Elmes on 08455 190180.
DEFRA’S Consultation on the ‘Implementation of CAP Reform in England’ is now open until 28th November 2013. The main points of interest and preliminary decisions outlined in the consultation are as follows:
• Single Payment Scheme (SPS) entitlements will be rolled forward into the new scheme.
• The minimum claim size will be fixed at 5 ha (12.35 acres).
• A Small Farmers Scheme will not be implemented in England.
• DEFRA will adhere to the measures set out in the European Commission’s proposals for greening requirements i.e. crop diversification, the maintenance of permanent grassland and Ecological Focus Areas on 5% of arable land.
• The existing regional boundaries will remain in place.
• Payments linked to ANCs (Areas facing Natural Constraints) will not be introduced.
• Salary mitigation will not be implemented i.e. spending on agricultural wages will not be protected from reductions.
• A coupled support scheme will not be introduced in England i.e. farmers will continue to have no obligation to produce and will be free to respond to market signals.
Farmers are encouraged to reply to the consultation to influence the outcome of the implementation – please click on the link https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/common-agricultural-policy-reform-implementation-in-england to visit the consultation page. If you would like advice on how any of these proposals might affect your farming business, please contact us at WebbPaton.
pproximately 85 acres of grazing and mowing land near Wroughton available on a short-term arrangement immediately. The land does not currently have stockproof fencing and therefore temporary fencing will need to be supplied by the grazier. For more information, please contact Gemma Drewett or Charlotte Pearson-Wood on 01793 842055.
The RPA, Natural England and the Forestry Commission are continuing to send out letters to claimants where they believe there is a dual use situation in place (i.e. where one party is claiming under the SPS and another is claiming under environmental or woodland schemes). If you receive a letter, please contact us for professional advice BEFORE replying and providing evidence, as the penalties for breaching the scheme rules are substantial.
With the 29th September only a few days away, WebbPaton have been busy helping clients to settle their rent reviews before the Michaelmas deadline. It’s not too late to take advice, so please contact Mark Webb or Gemma Drewett on 01793 842055 if you need help.
There is a new micro wind market developing for small wind turbines (up to 100 KW). Farmers are being made offers to rent small parcels of land (e.g. a disused telecoms site) for a minimum rent of £20,000 per annum plus a percentage of harvesting. Suitable sites are open areas away from AONBs and airport radars. Please contact George Paton on 01793 842055 for more information.