May 17, 2023 9.00 am This story is over 10 months old

MP objects to Holbeach solar farm plans on ‘prime agricultural land’

Warning it could harm food production

By Local Democracy Reporter

South Holland and the Deepings MP Sir John Hayes has voiced his objections over plans for a new 48MW solar farm in Holbeach.

The project aims to establish a 65.5-hectare facility on land situated north of Roman Bank and east of Middle Marsh Road at Red House Farm.

The solar farm, if approved, would generate energy to power around 14,400 households.

Plans by AUK PE12 Ltd were submitted to South Holland District Council in February,

Expressing his concerns, Sir Hayes submitted a formal objection to the plans, urging the Planning Committee to reject the application.

He wrote: “I have recently been contacted by a number of constituents who are concerned about the proposals for a 48MW solar farm on land north of Roman Bank and East of Middle Marsh Road at Red House Farm, Holbeach St Marks.

“I share my constituents’ view that this proposal will see prime agricultural land removed from food production at a time when recent events have reminded us of the vital importance of food security.

Sir John Hayes, MP for South Holland and the Deepings.

“It is so important that farming land, such as this site, remains in production to ensure that food prices remain affordable, and we can continue to feed our nation.

“This application could affect the viability of the business that currently farms the land, with the possibility of job losses, affecting the local economy.

“This proposal will have a detrimental impact on the Fenland landscape and the local amenity, changing the character and nature of the surrounding environment forever.

“I would be grateful if you could treat my letter as a formal objection to this proposal. In addition, I ask that this application is considered by the Planning Committee.

“P.S. The authority has previously refused such applications. It is vital that this does not change. Agricultural land matters.”

How the development could be laid out | Image: South Holland District Council

Councillor Charles Worth (Conservative) also expressed strong opposition to the project, adding: “This area is one of the most important in the UK for food production and to remove this for what is a relatively small amount of energy that will disappear onto the National Grid (so no local benefit) would be disgraceful.

“By removing this land from production it is also likely to impact the sustainability of the farming business that is currently renting it and that could result in job losses.”

The representative for Holbeach Hurn ward continued: “As the local ward member, I am aware of strong opposition from local people to this proposal for many of the reasons mentioned above.

“While you can screen the area with trees and hedging, you will never manage to totally hide it and it will always be a blot on the landscape.

“The proposal will irrevocably change the nature and character of the area and should it be successful,  where does it stop? As I am aware of another large application waiting in the wings.”

The 2024 Lincolnshire Business Excellence Awards are now open for nominations, seeking to spotlight outstanding businesses within the Greater Lincolnshire area.

Hosted by Stonebow Media, the publisher behind The Lincolnite and the MyLocal platform, this prestigious event is designed to honour the achievements of the regional business community.

Thanks to the headline sponsorship from the University of Lincoln Enterprise & Research department, the Lincolnshire Business Excellence Awards are a unique opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of local enterprises.

The awards are also sponsored by Ringrose Law, Duncan & Toplis, Sills & Betteridge and Pearson Hydraulics. A small number of sponsorship opportunities remain available. Contact [email protected] to discuss partnerships.

Businesses can nominate themselves across eleven awards categories:

  • SME of the Year
  • Family Business of the Year
  • International Business Achiever of the Year
  • Business Innovation/Innovator of the Year
  • Emerging Business of the Year
  • Charitable Business of the Year
  • Environmental/Sustainable Business of the Year
  • Rising Star of the Year
  • Business Leader of the Year
  • Business of the Year
  • Tech Business of the Year

Nominate now! Entries open on the Lincolnshire Business Excellence Awards website.

The deadline for nominations is May 24, with the judges’ deliberation lunch set for May 29. The judging panel includes business experts and professionals from Lincolnshire and event sponsors.

The Lincolnshire Business Excellence Awards 2024 gala will take place at the Engine Shed on July 12, 2024.

For more details on the categories, sponsors, and judges, visit the Lincolnshire Business Excellence Awards website.

Reasons to enter:

  • Enhance profile & credibility: Securing an award or being shortlisted acts as a powerful endorsement, signaling trustworthiness to potential customers and helping to distinguish your business from competitors. Displaying the award on your communications can significantly boost your brand’s perception.
  • Insightful focus & feedback: The application process encourages deep reflection on your business strategy and direction, offering invaluable feedback and clarity, even for new ventures.
  • Team confidence boost: Recognition from the awards can significantly uplift your team’s morale, affirming the value and potential of your business in the eyes of industry experts.
  • Marketing & PR boost: Being associated with the awards, even as a nominee, can enhance brand visibility, providing ample content opportunities for social media and other marketing channels.
  • Networking opportunities: The awards connect you with local business leaders and experts, offering a platform to seek advice, share ideas, and foster future partnerships. The ceremony itself is an excellent occasion for networking with peers and celebrating mutual successes.
  • Potential to win: Entering offers a chance to win and gain all the associated benefits, but even without taking home a trophy, the process can yield significant advantages for your business.

A Lady Gaga loving kitten owned by a couple who run a charity for disabled pets featured on Channel 5’s The Pet Psychic.

Pet Psychic Beth Lee-Crowther comes to the aid of pet owners and in Tuesday night’s episode she met Cookie the kitten, a depressed camel, and looked at whether a dog can predict the future.

Read the full story on MyLocal, the new home of The Lincolnite

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