All about shared community ownership under the Community Energy Strategy's voluntary protocol
One of the key benefits of working under the shared community ownership protocol is that it should improve the speed and likelihood of obtaining consents for your projects.
However the precise form of community involvement may not have been agreed at the time when you submit your planning and connection applications.
Your planning application will be stronger the more information you are able to provide about community involvement in the project.
Even if you are only at the early stages of identifying and agreeing terms with local partners, we would advise you to maximise your flexibility for community involvement. The following wording may help:
<Developer name> promotes the involvement of communities in its projects, supports the government's Community Energy Strategy and develops applicable projects under the Shared Community Ownership protocol (further described at www.SCO-RES.uk).
We are [in discussion with/identifying] local partners about community engagement in this project. This community involvement may lead to certain revisions to the project design. For example, it may prove neccessary to reconfigure the scheme as two discrete generating systems. This change would not materially impact the total size or coverage of equipment compared to the design detailed in this application.
Similarly, if you are applying for a grid connection, but may need to split this in the future to accomodate a split ownership project, it would be worth fore-warning the DNO:
This project is being developed under the government-sponsored Shared Community Ownership protocol (further described at www.SCO-RES.uk). Accordingly it may prove necessary in the future to split any connection offered into two separate connections (one for a community-owned scheme), but this will not change the total capacity required, as applied for herein.