Here is the latest news from the 7000 Acres Group. You can click on various articles to find out more: For updates on the developments todate click here
27th July for update for this development please click here
15th June 2023
Become a Registered Party - Gate Burton Energy Site
15th June 2023
The second of four solar projects in our area, the ''Gate Burton Energy Park'' has entered the Pre-Examination stage with the Planning Inspectorate.
This proposal may not be the one nearest to you, but as a group we must oppose them all in turn to succeed and not let the Developers "Divide and Conquer."
Please register to become an "Interested Party", to make a "Relevant Representation."
This has now closed for registrations.
The next stage will be the Preliminary hearing which is on the 4th July 2023 Double Tree By Hilton, Lincoln. Issue specific hearing 1 5th July 2023.
To understand what happens at the Preliminary hearing you can find out here
This is currently under consultation the consultation dates can be found here
Cottam Solar Site
27th July for updates click here
15th June 2023
The first of four solar projects in our area, the ''Cottam Solar Project'' has entered the Pre-Examination stage with the Planning Inspectorate.
This is now closed for registration however you will still be able to comment if you missed the registration once it is open for comments. They may or may not be taken into account but we strongly recommend you do. The more comments the better..
It cannot be stressed enough, that for us to succeed we ALL need to object to ALL 4 projects in turn as they go in for pre-examination. (We will keep you informed of when this happens for the other schemes)
The next stage will be the Preliminary hearing we are waiting to hear when this will be.
To understand what happens at the Preliminary hearing you can find out here
Island Green Power Have Submitted
Their Application To The Planning
This is the West Burton Solar Project 7000 Acres group will object via West Lindsey District Council and Lincolnshire County Council and we have also asked that all schemes are looked at as one, due to the cumulative effect on the local area. If, or when the Planning Inspectorate accept's the application, 7000 Acres will write to you explaining the next steps on how to register your views/objections. One thing is clear. We must ALL object to ALL 4 proposals in turn, if not our opposition will be diluted and the Developers will succeed by "Divide and Conquer. Registrations are now open and will close on 8th June at 23.59 Register here https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/east-midlands/west-burton-solar-project/ This has now closed and is waiting for dates ref preliminary hear. you can find out what happens at the prelimnary hearing here. https://www.7000acres.co.uk/understand-the-planning-process
7000 Acres Progress Update
6th February 2023
The Cottam and Gate Burton solar scheme applications have been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS), awaiting a decision over the acceptance of the proposals. 7000Acres have proactively liaised with West Lindsey District Council and Lincolnshire County Council and as such have been able to submit our objections on "inadequate consultation" alongside the Councils, to the Planning Inspectorate. This is the only aspect considered by PINS and asked of the Councils at this stage. Public feedback at this point is not normally accepted, however on this occasion we have been given an opportunity to make our voice heard early on within the process. We will know if PINS accept the Cottam Solar Project by the 9th February and will inform members as soon as we receive this information. If the application is accepted by PINS, we will write to you shortly with instructions on the next steps to ensure you can make your voices heard.
The "Cottam Solar Project" submitted to the Planning Inspectorate (PI) at Bristol.
21st January 2023 We have objected via WLDC and LCC on the grounds of "Inadequate Consultation" and also that we feel the projects should be considered together due to the cumulative effect of industrialising 10,000 acres all in one locality etc.. We are now waiting for the PI decision on this. When we hear the outcome, we will inform all members of the next stage and provide clear and simple instructions of how to register and make your objections, we will also provide scheme specific information to assist you. To learn more and ensure you our informed of the next steps join our mailing list.
Solar Farm plans are 'catastrophic' - WLDC Council boss
I8th October 2022
Councillor Owen Bierley, Leader of West Lindsey District Council has said the "sheer scale" of the Solar Farm proposals is "at odds with both local and national policy". "If these proposals, and others like them, are allowed to go forward, driven by market forces and economic expediency alone, the impact on the countryside and rural communities would be catastrophic."
Realtime Energy Contribution by Source in the U.K.
11th October 2022
You can see how much energy is generated by Solar power in the UK in realtime by clicking on the black paper icon above. You can also see how inefficient solar power generation is, across a 24-hour period, in comparison to other energy sources. This is why so much productive farmland is required to generate the headline power figures quoted by the solar farm developers.
Great news for residents living in the West Burton 4 area
2nd October 2022
Residents of Gringley and Clayworth have just been informed that Island Green Power (IGP) have withdrawn their proposal to develop the West Burton 4 Solar Farm site, following the re-assessment of the quality of the local farmland. This is a 600-acre area of 'Best and Most Versatile' farmland that IGP had originally insisted was low-quality farmland. Following further investigation, IGP have conceded that their original assessment was incorrect and the West Burton 4 project has been scrapped. There are however, still the following active Solar projects - West Burton 1, 2 and 3, along with Cottam and Gate Burton, covering over 10 thousand acres of local farmland. The fight goes on! You can read details regarding the scrapping of the West Burton 4 proposal from the Lincolnshire Live website by clicking on the black paper icon above.
The Problem With Solar Farms
26th September 2022
The Countryside charity CPRE Herts have produced a document outlining the issues around the development of Solar Farms in the countryside. The Report highlights the inefficiency of solar power, the cumulative impact of clustering solar farms within an area and the damage to the countryside and amenity caused by solar developments. You can view this document by clicking on the black paper icon
A Five-fold increase in Solar Farms poses a major UK food security threat
25th September 2022
The Solar Campaign Alliance has just released a Press Release relating to the impact of proposed solar farms. This increase in solar farm development could mean that over 350 thousand acres could be occupied by solar panels. The UK imports 40% of its food, a combination of land loss, variable crop yields and an increasing population means the likelihood is that more food will be imported Click on the button below to read the Press Release in full.
Island Green Power revise Agricultural Land Classification within the West Burton PEIR
5th August 2022
Following further assessment of the quality of farmland being used for the proposed West Burton Solar Farm development, Island Green Power (IGP) have issued an addendum to their Preliminary Environmental Assessment Report (PEIR). Unfortunately, IGP have ignored the UK Government's Department for Environment and Rural Affairs, who have stated that Grade 3b land is classified as 'Best and Most Versatile'. This means that all bar 2 hectares of the proposed Solar Farm land is being built on 'Best and Most Versatile' land. Productive farmland should be used to grow food. Click on the black paper icon above to read the Addendum in full.
Grade 3b farmland is confirmed as being 'Best and Most Versatile'
8th July 2022
The Rt Hon George Eustice MP, Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has confirmed, during an Environmental Audit Committee meeting on 29th June 2022, that Grade 3b farmland does fall into the 'Best and Most Versatile category'. This is important, as over 95% of land selected for the Gate Burton, West Burton and Cottam solar projects is classified as Grade 3b, or better and therefore completely unsuitable for solar development. Click on the video icon to watch the Parliamentary video confirming the quality of our farmland.
Yet another solar development planned for the Gainsborough area!
17th July 2022
As well as the existing 7,000 acres of solar developments planned for the Gainsborough area, yet another development has been announced - Tillbridge Solar have announced plans for an even bigger solar farm covering the land between Corringham and Hemswell, generating enough power to supply over 200,000 homes.
Click on the button below to find out more about this latest proposal to cover productive farmland in solar panels.
Lincolnshire Councillor's concerns for food security
28th June 2022
Lincolnshire Councillor, Ann Welburn, has criticised the 'short-sighted' approach of turning valuable farmland into Solar Farms in the Lincolnshire area. Councillor Welburn would rather see food production secured so that farmers can meet demand. Click on the black paper icon for more information.
Government Food Strategy - Policy Paper
19th June 2022
The UK Government has just published its Food Strategy Policy Paper. This document includes information on food security and sustainable production. You can read more by clicking on the black paper icon.
Island Green Power launch their Second Phase consultation
16th June 2022
Island Green Power has confirmed that a formal six-week consultation on its detailed proposals for the Cottam and West Burton Energy Parks will launch on 15 June and run until 27 July 2022. Click on the buttons below for more information.
Solar Farms and Battery Storage
9th June 2022
A meeting took place on Wednesday 8th June 2022 in Westminster Hall, called by the Right Honourable James Gray, MP for North Wiltshire, to discuss planning for solar farms and battery installations. You can read the transcript from Hansard by clicking on the black paper icon above.
Global Solar Atlas
1st June 2022
The World Bank has published a study of Global Solar Power Potential by Country, which provides a view on solar resource and the potential for development of utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) power plants in various countries and regions. You can see how the potential of solar power generation changes as you travel further south, towards the Equator. The UK is not the most suitable location for solar power generation. Click on the black paper icon above.
Details of the largest Solar Farm development in Europe
31st May 2022
The Núñez de Balboa photovoltaic plant in Badajoz, Spain, is currently the largest Solar installation in Europe. With 500 MW of installed capacity, it has the ability to supply clean energy to 250,000 homes. The plant covers 2,470 acres and contains over 1.4 million solar panels. The proposals for West Burton, Cottam and Gate Burton cover an area 3 times the size of the Spanish development. You can read more about the Spanish installation by clicking on the black paper icon at the top.
Guide to assessing development proposals on agricultural land
31st May 2022
Natural England have produced a Guide to assessing development proposals on agricultural land. Developers and local planning authorities should refer to government policies and legislation when considering development proposals that affect agricultural land and soils. You can read the details by clicking on the black paper icon.