Energy Bill [HL] - Commons Amendments

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:15 pm on 12th April 2016.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Hardie Lord Hardie Judge 6:15 pm, 12th April 2016

My Lords, on Report I drew attention to the unfair effect upon a development on Skye. The original provisions about the date upon which the guillotine would fall on new onshore wind farms discriminated against a development at Glen Ullinish in Skye which had planning permission, control of the land, the support of the local community and an agreement to link to the grid; the developers were paying money to the grid in fulfilment of that agreement. The only reason why the development could not go ahead was that the grid had to be upgraded, and that could not be achieved within the appropriate time.

I voted with the amendment that removed the clause from the Bill, but afterwards I wrote to the Minister to explain that that was the only option I had. I called on him and the Secretary of State to consider accommodating this unusual situation. I am grateful to the Minister, the Secretary of State and officials in the department for giving this matter consideration. Unlike the noble Lord, Lord Foulkes of Cumnock, I read the new Clause 32LL as a solution to the difficulty that there is a grid or radar delay condition. I seek confirmation from the Minister that I am reading it correctly, but I genuinely think it has enabled the development at Glen Ullinish to proceed. As I indicated in my letter, if that problem were resolved and a clause were brought back that accommodated this issue, I would support it, subject to the Minister’s confirmation that my understanding of Clause 32LL is correct.