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).

Ardent was instructed by RWE Innogy UK as land agents and land referencing consultants to provide land and property advice to support its application for a Development Consent Order for the Triton Knoll Electrical System (in Lincolnshire) in 2012 and provided continuing support through to 2017.  Ardent initially carried out Land Referencing over a substantial number of potential route options along with organising access to land for a wide range of ecological and archaeological surveys to feed into the optioneering process informing the final preferred cable route option.

Survey access was delivered for over 100 sq km of land along the numerous option routes, in some places providing a buffer of up to 1 km.

Ardent also carried out both the informal and formal landowner consultation process, leading up to the DCO application. This involved advice on the corridor selection and the final route optioneering. Ardent conducted meetings with the landowners and occupiers of the land along with their representatives, along with the NFU and local CAAV group.

Leading up to the DCO submission, Ardent led on the production of the Book of Reference, Land Plans, Crown Land Plans and Special Category Plans. Ardent also made substantial inputs into the Statement of Reasons (SoR), consultation report, draft Order and produced the land cost estimate budget for the funding statement.

The application was submitted in April 2015 and in September 2016 Development consent was granted for the project. Ardent acted as the land expert throughout the examination speaking at hearings and responding to all Compulsory Acquisition questions raised in written format. Ardent also responded to all written representations and written submissions from land interests.

Ardent continued to work to secure land option agreements through the pre examination and examination phases with over 120 affected landowners and numerous tenants and occupiers across mainly rural land but some commercial areas too. By the conclusion of the examination in March 2016, Ardent had secured signed Heads of Terms with 92% of affected landowners. This included three onshore infrastructure sites, where land was required permanently for above ground installations (landfall connection site, Intermediate reactive compound and the substation) and over 60km of onshore cable easements with associated construction compounds and access rights. Critical to the success of these option agreements was the interaction and relationship that was built with the NFU representatives and CAAV group, who together advised nearly 80% of the affected landowners.