Rutland MP visits site of proposed Mallard Pass Solar Farm development
The MP for Rutland met with campaigners at the site of a proposed solar farm development earlier today (Friday, January 7).
Alicia Kearns (Con) and chairman of Essendine Parish Council Trevor Burfield brought together county and parish councillors and residents from the Mallard Pass Action Group, to visit the site of the proposed Mallard Pass Solar Farm development.
This proposed site would be by far the largest in the UK at 2,175 acres: eight times the size of the current largest solar farm, Shotwick Solar Park, which is 250 acres.
Mrs Kearns (Con) has serious concerns about the development, echoed by the campaign group and residents, about the suitability of it. These include the potential for increased risk of flooding, increased traffic and road hazards, agriculture, the destruction of biodiversity, and its size.
The first stage of the consultation, asking people for their initial views, finished before Christmas and as stage two of the consultation approaches this spring, Mrs Kearns said she will continue to work with local councillors, the Mallard Pass Action Group and on behalf of residents, to ensure that their views are heard, and the solar plant faces proper scrutiny, at local and national level.
Mrs Kearns said: “This was a great meeting, an opportunity for us to come together, united and galvanised in our determination to protect our community. The Mallard Pass solar plant proposal is utterly inappropriate and I am entirely opposed to it. Rutlanders want to play our part in creating a more sustainable energy future, but this proposal would damage Rutland forever.
“By building on quality agricultural land, we will destroy a natural resource in the heart of England’s green and pleasant land.
"Residents deserve to have their say and making sure that they are heard, locally and nationally, is my priority.”
Coun Burfield said: "Essendine Parish Council have canvassed the residents and businesses of the Parish to obtain their thoughts and opinions, this has led Essendine Parish Council to pass a resolution which is 'Essendine Parish Council strongly opposes the proposed Mallard Pass Solar Farm development'.”
A statement on behalf of the Mallard Pass Action Group said: “The scale of the Mallard Pass Solar Farm is unprecedented - eight times the size of any current similar development and far less efficient. It will gobble up 2,175 acres of agricultural land in Rutland and Lincolnshire - the equivalent of 1,400 football pitches.
“The sheer industrial scale of the solar farm will be totally out of keeping with the rural environment, blighting the landscape for over 40 years.
“As a country we need to ensure our energy policy dovetails with the nation’s approach to food and agriculture, rather than undermine it, as is the case with Mallard Pass.”