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Solar Power

Question for Department for Communities and Local Government

UIN 207710, tabled on 1 September 2014

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how many planning applications were made for solar energy generation on farmland in each of the last three years.

Answered on

9 September 2014

In publishing our new planning guidance in March, we took the opportunity to make clear to local councils the factors they should consider in relation to solar farms. These include making effective use of brownfield land and steering proposals away from good quality agricultural land. We also underlined that visual impacts need particular attention.

To help focus these developments on brownfield sites, we are consulting on increasing the amount of solar that can be installed on commercial and industrial buildings without the need for a planning application.

This Department does not gather statistics on the number of planning applications for solar energy developments by land use type. However, the Department of Energy and Climate Change's Renewable Energy Planning Database (RESTATS) includes information on a range of renewable energy projects above 0.01 megawatts, including applications for solar energy developments. The database tracks the progress of potential new projects from inception, through planning, construction and operational stages, and can be accessed at: