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Land Rights

The right of access to the land is granted through a Land Right which can be a personal agreement between ourselves and the Grantor (wayleave) or a permanent right to the land (servitude/easement).

The different types of Land Right obtained by SP Energy Networks are:

  • A Personal Agreement between SPD/SPM and the individual/company granting the right.
  • Used to gain consent for Overhead Line and Underground Cable Apparatus.
  • An annual payment or one off payment is usually paid to the grantor as long as they are not the sole beneficiary of the apparatus.
  • Payment Rate is reviewed annually.
  • Wayleaves are not registered against the land therefore if the land is subsequently sold the right will not automatically transfer to the new owner.
  • Provides greater security than a Wayleave Agreement.
  • Executed as a Deed therefore it is registered against the property on HM Land Registry and is permanently affixed to the land.
  • A Servitude/Easement forms a contract between SPD/SPM and the landowner and will include a right of access for inspection, maintenance and future operations.
  • Servitude/Easements are processed through solicitors and this reflects the greater security of tenure afforded to us and also the timescales involved.
  • SPD/SPM would prefer a freehold interest in the land where a Sub-Station is to be built for a major project, for example a Housing Development.
  • The land would then be owned by SPD/SPM and the Title would be registered at HM Land Registry.
  • The transfer would also include associated rights of access and appropriate for underground cables etc.
  • SPD/SPM would be prepared to enter into a lease for a Sub-Station site for commercial/industrial developments.
  • The landowner would grant us the right to occupy their land/building over a mutually agreed time period.
  • The lease will include rights for access to the sub-station 24/7, together with the rights for underground cable and associated apparatus.

What if a voluntary agreement cannot be reached?

In some cases a voluntary agreement will not be reached and we may require to rely on our statutory powers to compulsorily secure the relevant land rights. In such circumstances where agreement cannot be reached and no alternative design solution exists. Prior to entering into the use of statutory powers, the circumstances and how to proceed should be reviewed by the SPEN Project Manager, Land Offer and the customer. The costs relating to the use of statutory powers will be in addition to your connection costs.


We can acquire ownership of, rights in, and rights to, land by way of the compulsory acquisition process set down under schedule 3 of the Electricity At 1989 (as amended).

A “start to finish” compulsory acquisition can take between 9 months to 3 years. As such, the process is only effective in projects where there are sufficiently defined timescales. Furthermore, a compulsory purchase order can only be proposed where there is a sufficient “needs case” justification for doing so.
NECESSARY WAYLEAVEWe can acquire a necessary wayleave for overhead line and cable apparatus under Schedule 4 of the Electricity Act. A necessary wayleave offers more protection than a voluntary wayleave in that it binds the land covered by the necessary wayleave for a stated term and does not fall as a result of a change of owner. The process can take between 6-12 months.

Other types of consents

As well as land rights, other consents may be required as part of your connection. These may relate to:

  • Statutory planning consents for the construction of an overhead line or substation.
  • Other environmental consents, licences or permits which may be required for:
  • Work in or around water bodies;
  • Work in or around certain sensitive ecological habitats or species, some of which may have significant statutory protection.
  • Work in or around buildings and sites of historic importance
  • In cases where such ‘sensitives sites’ are encountered these may trigger the need for particular environmental evaluation or the need for full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

The requirement for such consents is obviously dependent on the development type and its location and as such requires to be considered on a case by case basis. Different types of consents will have different programme implications.

These consents will require various levels of engagement with statutory authorities and interested parties.


The Electricity Act contains certain provisions for planning relating to the construction or alteration of overhead lines. Consent relating to 33kV overhead lines and below are required under section 37 of the Act.

Section 37 consent is granted by the Scottish Ministers in Scotland and the Secretary of State in England and Wales. Whilst applications are made to The Scottish Government / DECC, these consents requires consultation with the relevant local authorities and other statutory bodies. The Secretary of State Scottish Ministers may take in to account the number of land rights that have been granted prior to the granting of the section 37 consent.
The Land Officer appointed to your connection will keep you fully informed as to any consent that may be required to construct the connection.
PLANNING CONSENT BY A CUSTOMERIf a substation is required as part of the customer’s connection arrangements, typically for development such as housing or commercial, we expect you to obtain planning permission for the new substation. Before a lease or transfer for a new substation site can be concluded, you must provide evidence to our solicitor that planning permission has been obtained for the new substation.

Our Land Rights and Works on Your Land documents can be viewed by selecting the links below.

If you are already a Grantor or you want to know more about Land Rights and Consents please contact us via our Land Enquiry Form or by using the contact details below:

Central & Southern Scotland

Cheshire, Merseyside, N. Wales & N.Shropshire


0845 301 0014


0845 030 3053

Contact us via email:

Wayleaves North

Wayleaves South

Write to us:
SP Energy Networks
55 Fullerton Drive
G32 8FA
SP Energy Networks
Wrexham Road
Pentre Bychan
LL14 4DU


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