Solar Power: Environment Protection

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 1st March 2022.

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Photo of Brendan Clarke-Smith Brendan Clarke-Smith Conservative, Bassetlaw

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to minimise the impact on the countryside and environment of the development of (a) large solar farm sites, including the one proposed by West Burton Solar between the villages of Gringley on the Hill and Clayworth in Bassetlaw and (b) other Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects.

Photo of Greg Hands Greg Hands The Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Given this Department’s statutory responsibility for determining individual planning applications for energy projects, Ministers are unable to comment on the specifics of individual applications. Energy National Policy Statements set out the justification for certain types of nationally significant energy infrastructure developments and clear criteria which developers are required to address when preparing their applications, and these cover the impacts on the countryside and wider environment.

Although solar farms are not covered in the existing suite of National Policy Statements, the draft National Policy Statement for renewable energy infrastructure covers solar farms at the scale of nationally significant infrastructure.The draft National Policy Statements are currently undergoing Parliamentary scrutiny.

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