There is now only one month remaining for people to register as an interested party with the Planning Inspectorate. It only takes a few minutes to register and doing so means you can have your say over the proposed Mallard Pass Solar Plant. The deadline is the 2nd March so please do sign up – the more of us who register our opposition the less likely the Planning Inspectorate is to recommend Mallard Pass for approval.
You can register here: https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/east-midlands/mallard-pass-solar-project/?ipcsection=overview
The Planning Inspectorate is interested in hearing how this development would affect you as well as any strong views you hold. For example, if you are a resident of Essendine you could raise the prospect of compulsory acquisitions along the high street. Likewise, you may live far from the site but hold concerns over Canadian Solar’s alleged links to Uyghur forced labour. You may simply rely on the nature in the area to maintain your mental health – all concerns are valid and should be voiced.
At this stage you do not need to provide a great deal of detail, but you should try to flag all the concerns you do hold. You will then be able to go into greater detail later in the planning process if you want to but remember, there is no expectation for further contributions. Registering now simply ensures you can be involved if you choose to be.
In my representation I will be raising many of the issues I voiced in my consultation response, which you can read here: https://www.aliciakearns.com/MallardPass
My concerns include:
- Alleged links to Uyghur forced labour by the primary developer Canadian Solar, who have had shipments seized by the US Government. I am also concerned by Canadian Solar’s links in their supply chains and through their board members to the companies GCL-New Energy Material Technology Co. Ltd and Daqo New Energy Corp, both of which have been sanctioned by the United States Commerce Department.
- The financial record of Windel Energy’s owners. You can read this fully in my second consultation response.
- Compulsory acquisitions. When I raised the possibility of compulsory acquisitions with the developers, they assured me they were hoping not to have to use them. The potential for compulsory acquisitions was also not raised fully in their consultation material. I am disappointed to see the extent of proposed acquisitions in the final application and believe this possibility may have been deliberately suppressed in the information provided to the public.
- Compulsory acquisitions on Essendine’s main road. I was particularly concerned to see the entirety of Essendine’s Bourne road subject to compulsory acquisitions in the final application and believe there has been little to no explanation of what this would entail for residents and their rights by the developers.
- The scale of the development. 2,105 acres is still too large and demonstrates a lack of engagement with the concerns raised in the consultation period.
- Loss of agricultural land. Government guidelines are clear that energy projects should not be built on best and most versatile land. Despite this, 41% of the proposed side is BMW and the rest is graded 3b.
- The loss of biodiversity and potential damage to the local environment.
- Traffic, particularly on rural roads not designed to accommodate fleets of lorries. I also hold safety concerns over routes that would pass schools.
- Flooding risk.
I am still collecting signatures for my petition against the Mallard Pass development, which I will be presenting to Parliament. Anyone over the age of 10 and resident in the UK can sign. If you want a copy, please email me on Alicia.firstname.lastname@example.org and I will arrange for one to be sent to you.
Please do register and make your opinion heard. Together we can stop Mallard Pass.
Alicia Kearns MP
Member of Parliament for Rutland and Melton
Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Member of the Joint Committee for National Security Strategy