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Mallard Pass Solar Farm discussed at examination hearing for Planning Inspectorate





A six-month examination of plans to generate electricity using huge numbers of solar panels began today (Wednesday).

Evidence provided by the would-be developers of Mallard Pass, which could straddle the Rutland and Lincolnshire border north of Stamford, will be scrutinised.

People who registered as ‘interested parties’ are able to ask questions and make representations about the merits or disadvantages of the scheme.

A rough idea of the shape and scale of the proposed development. Image: Google Maps
A rough idea of the shape and scale of the proposed development. Image: Google Maps

Sarah Price, planning lead for the Mallard Pass, said they had confidence in their proposal, adding: “We look forward to our application being tested through this process, offering an opportunity to further discuss our proposals.”

Since the proposed solar scheme was announced in 2021 by Windel Energy and Canadian Solar it has attracted criticism and the Mallard Pass Action Group was set up to campaign against it.

Key issues for the group are the scale of the development - which at more than 2,000 acres would be the largest ‘solar farm’ in the UK - the height of the 3.3m panels, and disruption during the construction and operation of the site.

The scale of the development is such that the local council planning authorities are not able to make a decision - this must be made by the Government Planning Inspectorate.

People speaking on the first day of the examination include representatives from the campaign action group, from Rutland County Council and South Kesteven District Council, and from parish councils in Ryhall, Langtoft, and Carlby.

Rutland CPRE and Stamford Ramblers Group were also represented, as well as individuals who live in the areas that could be affected.

Speaking at the hearing this morning, Sue Mitchell, secretary of Stamford Ramblers Group, said walking was a boost to physical and mental health but to be surrounded by solar panels would derive no pleasure for the walker.

“Our walkers would not walk in this area if the solar farm was built,” she said.

“We would get into our cars and drive to areas of natural beauty that are unspoilt.”

She added that such a huge development was difficult to mitigate and that it would become ‘an industrial environment of more than 2,000 acres’ impossible to screen from view.

Two hearings are taking place today. The first is this morning and the second starts at 7pm. They are taking place at the East of England Showground in Peterborough and can be watched on a live stream at tinyurl.com/MallardPassExam1

The hearings are being recorded and will be shared on the web page once the live stream is over.



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