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Julian Sturdy - Strong Voice for York Outer

Julian Sturdy

Member of Parliament for York Outer

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Statement on Sue Gray report

Statement on Sue Gray report

The Sue Gray report clearly shows that the Prime Minister has presided over a widespread culture of disregard for coronavirus regulations. Furthermore, questions are now being raised about whether the Prime Minister misled Parliament when asked about these events. Talking to constituents, it is clear discussions about parties in Downing Street remain a damaging distraction

Over £1 million of government support to help York businesses export

Julian has welcomed new figures showing over £1.13 million has been allocated by the...

Times Red Box article with Nigel Adams MP: Great British Railways should say Yes to York

This government is delivering on its commitment to level up regions such as ours....

York Press column: How the Queen’s Speech can level-up York

With nearly forty bills that will deliver on some of the Conservative Party’s biggest...

Julian raises spectre of Solar Farms on York’s Greenbelt with Minister

October 18, 2013

On Thursday, Julian voiced his concerns in Parliament over large scale solar farms in the rural, open countryside.

He has previously raised concerns over the Council’s proposed 40 ‘areas of search’ for wind farms in the draft Local Plan. However, due to the lack of sufficient wind speeds and scale of public objections, there is apprehension that the Council may now look to solar farms as an alternative.

Last week, the Department for Energy and Climate Change set out its plans to introduce a solar roadmap, which provides clarity over the need for new solar installations to be sensitively placed. In a letter to Parliamentary colleagues, the Energy Minister, Greg Barker MP, said that he was determined to “crack down” on inappropriately sited solar PV farms, particularly in the countryside.

In Parliament on Thursday, Julian queried the protection given to greenbelt land. He said:

“In welcoming the new solar road map, in which the Minister sets out guiding principles for the appropriate siting of solar PV, may I ask what added protection from solar farms the road map gives to greenbelt land?”

In his response, Mr Barker said:

“The road map sets out our industrial strategy. The right place to protect important areas such as the greenbelt, areas of outstanding natural beauty and grade 1 agricultural land, about which we care passionately, must be the planning process. In particular, we must ensure that local people have a proper say. That is why I am reminding local planning authorities that they have a duty to enforce that.”

Reflecting on the Minister’s comments, Julian said:

“Like the Minister, I am supportive of solar power in the right places, particularly in industrial areas and on brownfield sites. However, I welcome the tougher stance taken by the government on the potential for solar farms to blight our countryside. I have now written to the Minister to express my specific local concerns over the greenbelt land surrounding York being used for solar farms, which I believe could lead to the industrialisation of large tracts of our rural areas.”

Pictured: Julian speaking in the House of Commons.