HM Insights

Legal Insights & Industry Updates

Life, business and the law

The law never stands still, and the way it applies to you and your organisation is constantly evolving. Our people are on top of these developments and can keep you up to date with some of the most interesting aspects of these changes. Check out our articles and updates for our perspective on issues that might affect you.

Latest articles from David Bone

  • Why access to wind farm development sites can't be taken for granted – cautionary tales of private rights and public roads

    Why access to wind farm development sites can't be taken for granted – cautionary tales of private rights and public roads

    Of the many considerations involved in a wind farm development, or any proposed property development, appropriate access to the development site is critical. A wind farm may comprise several parcels of land. Just because one parcel of land within a wind farm site enjoys access rights does not necessarily mean the developer can use that access right to reach other parts of the wind farm. A failure to appreciate the nuances of the law governing access in this context can jeopardise a project, and the case law is scattered with cautionary tales. Two recent cases raise important points about access for wind farm developers.

  • What does the future hold for renewable heat incentives in the UK?

    What does the future hold for renewable heat incentives in the UK?

    Since 2011 the UK Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) has provided financial support to low carbon heating and biomethane production for injection into the gas grid. The non-domestic RHI scheme was due to close in March 2021, but the UK Government announced in August that applicants will now have a further 6 months to 30 September 2021 to apply for the scheme. The domestic scheme is due to close in March 2022. We examine the key features of the current proposals to replace RHI.

  • Will the District Heat Networks Bill herald a change in the way Scotland heats its buildings?

    Will the District Heat Networks Bill herald a change in the way Scotland heats its buildings?

    The Heat Networks (Scotland) Bill makes provision for the construction and operation of Heat Networks in Scotland. While these are not new, in Scotland the deployment of these networks to date has been typified by ad hoc projects, often to meet the needs of single organisations such as universities. However, the Scottish Government is keen to accelerate the deployment of Heat Network schemes and this Bill could be an important step forward.

  • Reform of Secured Transactions in Scotland: Implications for Renewable Energy Projects

    Reform of Secured Transactions in Scotland: Implications for Renewable Energy Projects

    In March 2020, the UK government signalled a shift in energy policy by announcing its intention to bring onshore wind and solar development back into the Contracts for Difference (CfD) subsidy regime. It is no surprise then that investors are attracted by the bondlike nature of these subsidised projects. The 2020s will likely see increased confidence among funders, with a resulting boost to renewable energy projects in Scotland. However, funders should be aware that there is a discrete property and security law regime in Scotland that affects what security can be obtained by Lenders. It is important that developers and funders seek expert legal advice on the quirks of the Scottish system.