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Advice to 7000 Acres

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7000 Acres
Date advice given
4 July 2022
Enquiry type

Good evening, We as members of the local community being affected by large scale solar have found it necessary to form the "Seven Thousand Acres" action group in direct response to the proposals from "Island Green Power" with its Cottam and West Burton solar projects and "Low Carbon" with its Gate Burton energy park. In total around 1500 mw of solar panels and batteries to be sited in rural Lincolnshire and across the border into Nottinghamshire. Planning will be submitted later this year for these projects. Like most people we are all for renewables and green energy, but not at any cost. There needs to be a fair trade off with the loss of food producing land and the impact on rural communities. Intermittent solar power on this scale and all in one region is not a fair trade off. These developments would cover 7000 acres of farmland all within 7 miles of each other! This would totally transform and dominate our landscape. (See attached map which shows the intensity of these proposals) These vast expanses of glass and steel at a height of up to 15 feet, along with the toxic batteries would industrialise our countryside forever. No one area of our Nation should be subject to this shocking intensity of solar development. People’s lives and homes will be severely impacted by the current proposals and many feel all is lost if this goes ahead. This is unnecessary and totally avoidable. Dumping all these solar farms on us would definitely not be "Levelling up" the Country! We have little faith and confidence in the planning process that will decide these projects, when decisions about these are being taken outside of the local community. Food security is as equally important as energy security therefore using good quality agricultural land for this purpose is counterproductive. There needs to be a properly thought-out strategy and a more balanced planning process for these land hungry projects. Starting with the identification of brownfield sites, such as former power stations, airfields, landfill sites and rooftops etc.. Not merely a blatant land grab from large landowners! Not until these options are exhausted should we be using thousands of acres of productive farmland for a relatively small amount of intermittent electricity. We hope this new wave of giant solar farms are not a "done deal" and a democratic and fair process can be followed so we do the right things in the right places. Finally. If the Government feels we can indeed spare our agricultural land for these projects? Then at the very least people's homes and property should be protected? Kind regards, 7000 Acres.

Advice given

Good afternoon, Thank you for your emails. Many apologies for the delay in replying. The three proposed applications are currently all at the Pre-application stage of the Planning Act 2008 process. Further information about the process can be found in the link below to the National Infrastructure Planning website: https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/application-process/the-process/ I’m afraid that the Planning Inspectorate is unable to consider representations about the merits of any application until it has been submitted and accepted for Examination. As the applications have not yet been formally submitted to the Planning Inspectorate your first point of contact should be the developers. It is important that the developers are made aware of your comments at the Pre-application stage to enable them to consider the points raised before finalising their proposals and submitting the applications. All three projects currently have open consultation periods. Cottam and West Burton consultation periods close on Wednesday 27 July 2022: https://www.cottamsolar.co.uk/ and https://www.westburtonsolar.co.uk/. Gate Burton consultation period closes on Friday 5 August 2022: https://www.gateburtonenergypark.co.uk/consultation/this-consultation/ Should the applications be accepted for Examination you will be able to register as an Interested Party by submitting a relevant representation. This must be submitted on the ‘Registration and Relevant Representation form’ which will be made available on the project webpage of the National Infrastructure Planning website at the appropriate time. Please note that you will need to register separately on each of the three applications to be an Interested Party for all three applications. Further information about registering as an Interested Party can be found in the Planning Inspectorate’s ‘Advice Note 8.2: How to register to participate in an Examination’ which can be found here: https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/legislation-andadvice/advice-notes/ You may find it helpful to subscribe to receive automatic email notifications for key events that occur after an application has been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate – links to sign up are below. Cottam: https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/email-subscription.php?project=EN010133&email= West Burton: https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/email-subscription.php?project=EN010132&email= Gate Burton: https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/email-subscription.php?project=EN010131&email= Kind regards,


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