The consultation process

Project evolution driven by your feedback.

Have your say

We want to hear your views as part of our phase one consultation.

You can provide feedback by:

Our consultation documents, and an online version of this newsletter, are available on the document library. If you wish to receive paper copies of these documents or need them in another format, please get in touch by freephone on 0800 652 6120, or by email at enquiries@meridiansolar.co.uk

Please submit your response by 23:59pm on 11 July 2024.

Have your say

Meet the team

As part of our Phase One consultation, we are holding a series of public information events. At these events, you will be able to meet the team and ask questions about our proposals.

  • Friday 14 June 14:00 – 20:00 Crowland Pavilion, Peterborough PE8 9QR
  • Saturday 15 June 10:00 – 16:00 Moulton Village Hall, Broad Ln, Moulton, Spalding PE12 6PN
  • Monday 24 June Time 14:00 – 20:00 Sutton St Edmund Village Hall, 273 Broadgate, Sutton St Edmund, Spalding PE12 0LR
  • Monday 1 July 18:00 – 19:00 Online – register here

Project Overview

Meridian Solar Farm would generate more than 50 megawatts of low-carbon electricity, which means that it is a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) that requires approval under the Planning Act 2008. Approval for an NSIP comes in the form of a Development Consent Order (DCO) which would, if granted, authorise the construction, operation and decommissioning of the project.

Helpful links

 

Current stage

Early Engagement

Early engagement is being undertaken, with the public, local authorities and other stakeholders. This allows those stakeholders comments to be taken into account by the developer of the project at the formative stages of the NSIPs development. Information about the proposed project is available via our library and at our public exhibition events at:

  • Crowland Pavillion, 14th June, 12-8pm
  • Moulton Village Hall, 15th June, 9-5pm
  • Sutton St Edmund, 24th June, 12-8pm

You will be able to gather information and ask questions at these public exhibition events. Feedback received will be carefully considered and will be used to help refine the project design.

We have developed our proposals for early engagement and more information can be found in the materials in the library.

 

Statutory Consultation

Following our early engagement, a period of formal public consultation called statutory consultation will take place.

Statutory consultation, in line with the Planning Act (2008), is a legally required phase of the process where project developers must seek the feedback of the public, local authorities, and wider stakeholders. Developers must give due regard to that feedback as they develop and finalise their design and required mitigation and prior to submitting the DCO application.

Before this consultation takes place, we will prepare a Statement of Community Consultation (SoCC) which will be agreed with the Local Authority. The SoCC sets out how we will undertake our statutory consultation, record, and action the feedback received. Once the SoCC has been published, it provides the details as to how the developer will engage with members of the public potentially affected by the scheme.

As part of the statutory consultation, we will consult a wide variety of people who may be interested in Meridian Solar Farm. We will also publish our Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR) to inform consultees how the project will interact with the environment and surrounding landscape. This is another opportunity for members of the public to give feedback on the project. We have a legal duty to give regard to the responses received to the consultation.

 

DCO Application

After the statutory consultation, there will be a period where we consider the consultation responses received and use this feedback to further refine our proposals. During this period, we will finalise our development consent order application, preparing the necessary application documents. We will then submit the application for the DCO to the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero (Secretary of State) via the Planning Inspectorate (PINS).

Helpful links

Acceptance

Once the application for the DCO is submitted, there will be a period of 28 days whilst PINS consider the validity of the proposals for examination. Amongst other areas, PINS will look at how the public and other stakeholders have been consulted. If the application is accepted there is a requirement for Meridian Solar to publish notification of this.

Examination

An Examining Authority (a single person or a panel) is appointed to undertake the examination of the application. The process is principally a written process and the Examining Authority sets a timetable for the examination. There will also be public hearings where you will be able to request to speak. The Examining Authority publishes its timetable and decisions on the PINS website, which contains a page dedicated to each project it examines.

Helpful links

Decision

The examination must be completed within six months of it starting examination period. Once the examination is closed, the Examining Authority will prepare a report making a recommendation to the Secretary of State whether they should grant or refuse the application for development consent. That report must be sent to the Secretary of State within 3 months of the close of the examination. The Secretary of State is tasked with deciding on whether or not the application should be granted within a further 3 months or receiving the recommendation.


More information

PINS has more information about the process on their website. Advice Note Eight gives an overview of the NSIP process for members of the public. The PINS website allows members of the public to register for notifications about project milestones such as when key decisions are made.

Helpful links

 

 

Our proposals

Meridian Solar Farm is a new solar energy farm co-located with battery storage to be located to the south of Spalding.

Find out more