An actual line construction project for which the need was determined, goes through different planning and licensing processes on its way to realisation. First, the authorities verify whether the course planned for the high voltage line is compatible with the spatial planning allocations. For line projects covering more than one federated state, the federal sector planning applies.
Overhead lines, which are planned and constructed inside a single federated state, follow the regional planning procedure. The state verifies whether the project is compatible with spatial planning allocations. To this end, the relevant spatial planning authority involves all possible representatives of public interests (cities, municipalities, competent authorities, environmental associations, etc.). Usually, the general public is involved as well. Having checked the spatial planning issues, the state's spatial planning authority draws up a state planning assessment. This assessment provides a route corridor of several hundred metres in width, in which 50Hertz studies the possible course of the actual line, possible tower positions and the environmental effects in the subsequent plan approval procedure.
In the plan approval procedure that follows the regional planning procedure, 50Hertz works out the details of the project. An extensive application mentions the technology to be used and the exact route of the high voltage line. During the procedure, the proposals and positions of the representatives of public interests (incl. municipalities, authorities and associations) and citizens alike are assessed. To this end, 50Hertz submits a specific plan for public consultation in its capacity of project developer. The procedure's objective is to take adequate account of all interests with regard to nature conservation, agricultural areas or private property.
Finally, the competent licensing authority takes the key planning decision. It is the competent authority's responsibility to weigh all objections and positions against each other. The authority often develops requirements (so-called guidelines) that need to be fulfilled in order for the project to be realised. A key planning decision is passed which forms the legal basis for the construction of the high voltage line and which grants 50Hertz a construction permit.
More information on the legal authorisation procedure can be obtained from the spatial planning and plan approval authorities of the individual states and the Federal Network Agency.