Questions and answers arising from the second in our series of Renewables seminars held across Somerset and Dorset. Additional questions and answers can be found in part 1.
Is there any indication that renewable energy installations affect property prices?
There is no indication as the moment that installations affect property prices whether in the positive or the negative. Renewable projects are still relatively new and so few properties have come onto the market and therefore there is no real way of testing if there is an effect.
Can a project be sold on?
Yes, a project can be sold on. This question was based around whether a developer of a solar site who has the benefit of a lease can sell on that lease to another party. The solar leases do allow for this with a limited amount of ability for the landowner to have a say on who the new owner of the project may be.
Can you sign “heads of terms” before a transfer/trust transaction is completed?
If a landowner anticipates transferring the site to a trust as a means of minimising IHT, then the site should be transferred before heads of terms are signed. This is in order to ensure that APR has been “banked” and to ensure that the Revenue cannot try to argue that a binding commitment to undertake the solar project has been entered into at the point of heads of terms being signed.
Is there any evidence of a reduction in value of properties bordering a wind/solar farm?
Again, as per the first question above, there is no indication at the moment whether there is a market reduction as a consequence of wind or solar farms being close to properties. Anecdotally there is more resistance to wind farms and very little resistance to solar and in some cases the existence of such farms close by may enhance the value of someone wishes to use the power that is being generated from the sites.