March 13, 2024

Great Grid (formerly East Anglia Green) pylon scheme update: March 2024

Specialist compulsory order solicitor, Catherine Hibbert, takes a look at the most recent update regarding the Great Grid pylon scheme and how it is affecting landowners.

The Government is committed to reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050; its delivery strategy includes an ambition to connect 50GW of clean offshore wind by 2030, bring Sizewell C online and improve interconnection with countries across the North Sea, indicating a huge increase in the amount of electricity landing in this Region over the next decade and beyond.

Whilst the existing infrastructure in East Anglia is sufficient to handle current volumes of electricity, the regional network needs to be upgraded to accommodate the anticipated increased volumes of clean energy being generated/ coming onshore locally. National Grid is therefore planning the Great Grid Scheme - a 183 km 400kV high voltage electricity reinforcement between Norwich and Tilbury largely comprising new overhead lines and pylons, but with some underground cabling plus a new substation. These proposals have already been the subject of informal consultation; a further statutory round of consultation is proposed in 2024, ahead of the planned submission of a development consent order (DCO) application in 2025, with a view to any approved scheme becoming fully operational by 2031.

There will be further opportunities to make representations regarding the Great Grid Scheme at the next pre-application consultation round and/or once the DCO application has been formally submitted.

Landowners affected by the proposals may have been contacted by National Grid’s agents in the meantime to either confirm details of ownership and/or to agree access for surveys and ground investigations. Information from these surveys/investigations is required to shape the DCO application.

National Grid’s stated aim is to reach agreement with landowners for survey/investigation access where possible, but they can rely on statutory powers of access where agreement cannot be reached.

National Grid have confirmed that their updated Land Rights Strategy ’the updated LRS’ (which sets out their fixed compensation offer for survey/ ground investigation access) has recently been adopted in relation to the Great Grid scheme. The updated LRS, which provides a consistent methodology for acquiring land rights for National Grid schemes, offers an improved package of compensation for survey/ investigation works. The compensation offer to landowners where access is required by National Grid for survey/ investigation work is intended to reflect the damage and disturbance which may potentially be caused by those works; it is worth noting that any damage in excess of the fixed offer is potentially recoverable, subject to production of evidence and proof of loss.

Licences for survey access agreed after 4 March 2024 will reflect the following improved broad compensation offers:

  • Non-intrusive surveys - £500 single advance payment per land holding per 12 month period (previously £250);
  • Non-intrusive night-time only survey – £250 single advance payment per 12 month period - no change;
  • Instrusive surveys including:
    • Boreholes, trial pits, infiltration pits, archaeological trial trenches, DCP tests (per site/work), hand auger tests (x6- £350 advance payment (previously £250)
    • Water monitoring per gauge per 12 month period– £150 per gauge - no change

Where existing licences (with compensation agreed under the previous LRS) are still active, National Grid has made a commitment to start work to issue top-up payments to existing licensors to ensure they benefit from the increased compensation offer under the updated LRS.

Where new licenses are to be issued after 4 March 2024, a one-off licence signing fee of £250 will be made, providing the licence is signed within a two-month period.

If you are affected by the Great Grid scheme and are concerned about survey/ground investigation access, how to respond to the next round of consultation or any other matter, please contact our specialist CPO solicitors at Holmes and Hills LLP. This dedicated group of solicitors (Mel Francis, Mike Harman and Catherine Hibbert) specialises in DCO/CPO work and compensation matters and will be able to review any issues / concerns you may have and advise you on your next steps.

Get specialist planning law advice

Call us on 01206 593933 today to speak with one of our specialist CPO/DCO team. Or complete the form below.

Key Contact

Catherine Hibbert


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