London, 30 May — The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF) today is calling for immediate ministerial intervention to prevent solar developers taking advantage of a loophole in the planning guidance to build on thousands of acres of British farmland, threatening UK food supply.
Due to lack of protection for farmland in the renewable energy planning guidance, and extreme pressure for renewable electricity, solar developers are now proposing single solar power station sites as large as 2,500 acres, with many others in the 150 acre to 1,000 acre range. Approximately 1,000 acres a month seems to be entering the planning system at present.
In public statements DEFRA officials have envisaged as much as 20% of British farmland being lost to energy production.
Dr John Constable, GWPF’s Energy Editor, and the author of the policy note published today, said:
There is no good argument for sacrificing thousands of acres of food producing land to low quality and expensive solar electricity production. This is not in the national interest, and it is not wise climate policy.”