Solar Power: Planning Permission

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities written question – answered at on 8 February 2024.

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Photo of Richard Fuller Richard Fuller Conservative, North East Bedfordshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of requiring the refusal of applications for planning permission for solar farms in excess of 50 MW where financing has not been secured.

Photo of Lee Rowley Lee Rowley Minister of State (Minister for Housing)

In deciding whether or not to grant an application for development consent for above 50MW electricity generation stations such as solar farms, the Energy Secretary of State must have regard under section 104 of the Planning Act 2008 to any relevant National Policy Statement where one has effect.

In addition to this, and also where decisions are taken where no National Policy Statement has effect, the Secretary of State must also have regard to any other matters which are both important and relevant to the decision which may, where compulsory acquisition powers are requested, include details of how the project in question is proposed to be funded.

Revised Energy National Policy Statements were designated on 24 January 2024.

Whilst I appreciate the point my Honourable Friend is making, the planning system upholds a long-standing principle of planning considerations being the lawful basis in making a determination.

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