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South Holland and the Deepings MP Sir John Hayes calls for meeting with Government ministers to combat ‘monstrous pylons’ and ‘huge solar plants’





A Lincolnshire MP has called for a meeting with Government ministers to combat ‘monstrous pylons’ and ‘huge solar plants’.

Sir John Hayes wants to see the county’s farmland protected by putting ‘an end to threats of food security’, even raising the issue with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in Westminster recently.

Around 30% of the country’s fresh produce is grown in Lincolnshire, and the South Holland and the Deepings MP has put himself forward to lead a delegation to fight these threats to the UK’s agriculture and stave off ‘cheap foreign imports’.

South Holland and the Deepings MP Sir John Hayes
South Holland and the Deepings MP Sir John Hayes

The UK has agreed trade deals with countries like Australia following Brexit which do not have the same high levels of animal welfare standards as UK producers.

Lincolnshire residents and councillors have raised concerns about a series of huge solar developments is areas including near Spalding and Springwell as well as National Grid plans to run giant pylons along the east coast of the county.

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Speaking in the Commons Sir John, who was a big supporter of Brexit, said: “Britain’s food security, compromised by cheap foreign imports, now faces a parallel threat: all kinds of industrialisation of the countryside, from large solar plants to interconnectors and substations, and now huge pylons covering 87 miles of countryside.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

“These will blot the landscape and use up valuable growing land, filling the fenland big skies.

“Knowing that the Prime Minister’s bow burns with gold, like my own, will he ensure that he joins my fight for our green and pleasant land and so make sure that food security and energy security are not competitors?”

Prime Minister Sunak told Sir John he raised ‘an excellent point’.

The National Grid want to run pylons along the east coast
The National Grid want to run pylons along the east coast

“The Government have taken steps, which he has supported, to protect prime agricultural land from large-scale solar developments, which I know will be warmly welcomed,” he continued.

Sir John also asked Leader of the House Penny Mordaunt to arrange a meeting with relevant secretaries of state.

“The Leader of the House will have heard me ask the Prime Minister a question about the threat to food security posed by a string of monstrous pylons that will run down the east coast and through some of the most productive farmland in the country,” he said.

The Springwell Solar Farm consultation brought protests. Photo: Ellis Karran
The Springwell Solar Farm consultation brought protests. Photo: Ellis Karran

“Simultaneously, we face applications for huge solar plants on the best land we have, which feeds the nation; 30% of our fresh produce is grown on this land.

Find out about planning applications that affect you at the Public Notice Portal.

“Given her exemplary answer to me last week, will the Leader of the House, in that vein, arrange for a meeting with the relevant secretaries of state and a delegation—inevitably led by me—of affected colleagues, so that we can immediately put an end to these threats to our food security?”

Solar farms are seen by Sir John as a blight on the county
Solar farms are seen by Sir John as a blight on the county

The Leader thanked Sir John for ‘all the campaign work he is doing on this very important issue’.

“It is an important matter not just for his constituents directly affected by it, because it has implications for our food security if large swathes of high-quality agricultural land are not being used to grow food and build this nation’s resilience,” she continued before adding she would write to encourage meetings.

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