Following the successful completion of option agreements on the Triton Knoll Electrical System project and the successful consent awarded, Ardent was approached by Vattenfall to provide land services across three of its DCO projects, two in Norfolk (Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas) and one in Kent (Thanet Extension).


For the Norfolk Vanguard and Boreas projects, Ardent is providing land strategy and advice along with guidance and management through the DCO process. For the first year of the project, Peter Gibbard took on the role of land manager for Vattenfall and oversaw all land related activities.

Ardent managed and advised a team of local land agents who acted as the main point of contact for the landowners while also ensuring full compliance with the DCO process and requirements. Upon instruction of an internal Land Manager, the role was shared to ensure delivery on the complex scheme was achieved on programme and budget.

Ardent was also instructed to conduct the land referencing process, deal with the formal landowner consultation and produce the BoR, Land Plans, Crown Land Plans, Special Category Land Plans, and Cost Estimate for the DCO application. Ardent also made significant contributions to the production of the SoR and Consultation report. Ardent also produced the property cost estimate and inputted land estimates into the funding statement.

The DCO application for Norfolk Vanguard was submitted in June 2018 with the DCO for Norfolk Boreas submitted in June 2019. Ardent continued to support the Norfolk Vanguard project through the examination stage and hearings acting as property expert, responding to land issues, written representations and written questions. Alongside this Ardent was also working to prepare the application documents for Norfolk Boreas.

Ardent was heavily involved in the optioneering stage of the Norfolk Vanguard project and advised on numerous landowner change requests that were received to the cable route. This was supported by a cost estimate to advise on compensation risks and general project risks.  

Ardent was able to advise on the Heads of Terms (HoTs) for an option agreement. To date just over 78% of the landowners affected by this 60km cable route have signed the terms. Ardent also led on the negotiations to acquire the main site for the new substation achieving a deal that exceeded the clients expectations.


Following the conclusion of the Vanguard examination in June and the issuing of the Boreas s56 letters in July, the Ardent team is now turning its attention to converting the completed HoTs into option agreements and is liaising with the Vattenfall legal team, external lawyers and the landowner’s legal representatives, to coordinate a swift conversion of option agreements. 

The Ardent team, led by Peter Gibbard, is now taking on the role as land and property expert at the Boreas examination and hearings and assisting to guide the team through the examination process.


In December 2020, CMC were recruited to the Land and Legal team within the Norfolk Projects to assist in project managing the timely and cost-effective acquisition of land rights for pre-construction surveys, main construction and ongoing operation and maintenance of the new infrastructure. Drawing on our core project management expertise, CMC established robust project management processes within the Land and Legal Team creating a suite of fundamental products and processes – land/legal activity programme, risk and opportunity register, financial forecasts, and progress trackers – to manage the vast work package and provide clear visibility of progress, risks and issues.

CMC has brought its ethos of collaboration, integration, and interface management to the project; rapidly building strong relationships with other project functions in consenting, ecology, engineering, and procurement to ensure that land considerations are appropriately considered in complimentary work packages. Current CMC activities include:


  • Advising on relevant land and legal requirements for inclusion within the Employers Requirements for the main works procurement, supporting tender evaluations;
  • Managing consents and construction teams land access requirements to provide timely access for all pre-commencement environmental surveys and engineering site investigation activities;
  • Integrating key land and legal milestones within the master project schedule;
  • Supporting stakeholder communications campaigns with relevant and affected landowners.