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South Holland and the Deepings MP Sir John Hayes brands solar farm plans in Billingborough and Holbeach St Marks as 'preposterous'

Plans for a series of solar farms in the area have been labelled ‘preposterous’ by South Holland and Deepings MP Sir John Hayes.

Applications to create an 80-hectare solar farm at Holbeach St Marks and a 97-hectare solar farm at Bicker Fen have both been announced in recent weeks, while public consultations concerning two further renewable energy projects have been announced this week.

These are the Washdyke Solar Farm project, which would be situated near Billingborough, and the Outer Dowsing Offshore Wind project which could connect to Spalding Power Station.

Solar farms like this can help reduce future energy price hikes through increased domestic generation (59999732)
Solar farms like this can help reduce future energy price hikes through increased domestic generation (59999732)

“I was talking to the secretary of state (for levelling up, housing and communities - Simon Clarke) about how we don’t want any solar farms in Lincolnshire or on any other greenfield land,” Sir John said.

“They’re using prime agricultural land, and growing food is what the country needs.

“These so-called farms - they’re not farms, they’re industrial solar installations - come at immense cost and opportunity.

“There’s nothing to stop local authorities blocking them. It’s preposterous.

“The thing about solar panels is they should all be on buildings. I drive to London every week and see warehouses, offices and industrial businesses that don’t have solar panels on the roof.”

Sir John added that he was not against offshore wind energy ‘as long as it’s in the right location’ as not to affect factors such as shipping lanes and migratory birds.

Local Green Party member Martin Blake was in favour of the offshore project, but added solar farms are ‘less than ideal’.

He said: “Offshore wind is obviously a very good thing, I don’t think even the current Government argues against that.

“We currently need more onshore wind, that seems to be the sticking point.

“Concerning solar farms, strangely enough, we’re ambivalent about them in the Green Party, for the simple reason that they tend to be proposed on prime agricultural land and we desperately need to maximise home-grown food production.

“Solar farms are not visually obtrusive and you can graze sheep underneath them. The best place to put a solar panel is on a building and I believe we need to be promoting that. They (solar farms) are less than ideal in my personal view.”

It has been recently reported that the Government ministers hope to ban solar farms from most of the country’s farmland.

A report in the Guardian newspaper stated environment secretary Ranil Jayawardena opposes their use on agricultural land.

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