On Tuesday 26 April 2016, the House of Lords considered the Commons Reason for disagreeing with Lords Amendment 7T which provided an additional grace period in relation to the early closure of the Renewables Obligation for onshore wind in the circumstances where a planning authority had resolved to grant planning permission for a project on or before 18 June 2015 but planning permission was granted after this date. This amendment would have covered the situation where a planning committee resolved to grant planning permission on or before 18 June subject to a Section 75 Agreement in Scotland or a Section 106 Agreement in England and Wales being entered into which was subsequently agreed after 18 June 2015.
Prior to the debate in the House of Lords, both Labour and Liberal Democrat peers tabled amendments similar to Amendment 7T. These amendments were debated within the House following which the Lords agreed to Lord Grantchester’s amendment which provides for a grace period in the situation where a planning authority had resolved to grant planning permission for a project on or before 18 June 2015 and planning permission was granted no later than three months after that date. This is almost identical to Amendment 7T, the only difference being that it requires planning permission to have been granted within three months of 18 June 2015 rather than having no cut off. This amendment was agreed to by 50 votes: 270 votes for and 220 against.
The Bill will now return to the House of Commons for consideration of this amendment. A date has not yet been announced for this but it is anticipated to be next week.
We are monitoring the Bill’s progress very closely. Watch this space for further updates and feel free to come and see us at Stand Q60 at All Energy 2016 in Glasgow on 4-5 May.
Shepherd and Wedderburn solicitors, Susan Swan and Stephanie Mill will be running RO Grace Period Clinics during All-Energy and delegates are invited to attend these clinics to discuss on a one-to-one-basis the Energy Bill provisions in relation to the proposed early closure of the RO as it pertains to onshore wind and the grace periods. Please contact Sissel Holden at firstname.lastname@example.org to book an appointment for the RO Grace Period Clinics.