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Proposed Mallard solar plant

Volume 749: debated on Tuesday 7 May 2024

The petition of residents of the United Kingdom,

Declares that the proposed Mallard Pass solar plant should be rejected; further that the inappropriate scale of this development would lead to irreversible damage to the community due to the loss of quality, productive agricultural land, the loss of the natural character of the countryside, lasting damage on biodiversity and the environment, damage to historical assets and identity, and the risk of a solar plant produced by forced labour in the developers' supply chain.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Alicia Kearns, Official Report, 20 March 2024; Vol. 747, c. 1010.]

[P002919]

Observations from the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Lord Callanan): The planning application for the proposed Mallard Pass solar farm was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate on 24 November 2022 and accepted for examination on 21 December 2022. The examination stage started on 16 May 2023 and closed on 16 November 2023. The Planning Inspectorate’s examination report and recommendations were submitted to the Secretary of State on 16 February 2024.

The proposal is now in the decision-making stage and the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero has until 16 May 2024 to make a decision on the application or extend the statutory date if required.

Given the Secretary of State’s quasi-judicial role in determining applications for development consent for energy infrastructure proposals, it would not be appropriate to comment on specific matters regarding this proposal, as this could be seen as prejudicing the decision-making process.

In taking the decision on any application for development consent, the Secretary of State will follow the requirements of the Planning Act 2008 and have regard to matters which are relevant to her decision.