Mallard Pass is a proposed 2,175 acre solar plant, over a fertile collection of fields stretching just north of Stamford and across Eastern Rutland, around the beautiful villages of Essendine, Carlby, Braceborough, Casewick, Belmesthorpe and Ryhall.
It would be eight times the size of the U.K.’s largest solar plant – the 250 acre Shotwick Solar Park in Flintshire. It’s the size of 1,400 football pitches. It’s so large that it can’t be approved by Rutland County Council – it has to be approved by the Government as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project.
We all want to play our part in achieving Net Zero – but this scheme would be a disaster for our environment, biodiversity, and our very way of life.
Together with Mallard Pass Action Group and local Councillors, I’m working to convince the Government to take residents' views into account – and stop this development.
You can read more about why we need to stop this development here – and add your name to the petition below.
All my best to you and yours -
23rd November 2022 - Letter to Canadian Solar and Windel Energy
I wrote to Canadian Solar and Windel Energy to request that they give a proper amount of time for local residents to make their representations.
1st November 2022 - Letter to Minister of State in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
I wrote to the Minister of State in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy over allegations of forced labour in Canadian Solar’s supply chains.
20th September 2022 - Letter to Foreign Secretary
I wrote to the Foreign Secretary to request that he investigates allegations against Canadian Solar.
4th August - Submitted Objection Feedback for the Second Consultation
I have submitted my feedback for the second consultation for the proposed ‘Mallard Pass’ solar plant, which you can read below.
Since this development was first proposed I have held grave concerns and sadly the failure of the developers to engage properly with myself and the community have only added to these. From dropping out of a public meeting only a few days before to failing to meet with me in Parliament to discuss allegations of forced labour in their supply chains, a serious break in trust now exists.
This development should be refused planning permission for the following reasons:
• Size, 2,238 acres is too large and would make it over eight times larger than the current largest solar plant in the UK
• Loss of graded agricultural land, with the whole site classified as Best and Most Versatile under Government Guidance issued in 2015
• Allegations of forced labour in Canadian Solar’s supply chains
• Biodiversity and environmental concerns, particularly for Rutland’s rare bird population
• Traffic, particularly of lorries passing local schools on rural roads
• Flooding, with several areas effected already classified as at risk
• Poor public engagement by the developers
I would strongly urge anyone who has not yet done so to submit their consultation response by tomorrow. As always, if you wish to sign my petition against Mallard Pass please email me your address to Alicia.firstname.lastname@example.org and I will post a petition sheet to you.
I will continue to work in Parliament and the local community to fight this proposal. Please do your part and register your opposition today.
27th July 2022 – Letter to Rt Hon. George Eustice on Land Classification
I wrote to the Secretary of State for the Environment to request clarification over whether grade 3b land is classified as best and most versatile land. As the proposed site for the development is made up of 6% grade 2, 47% grade 3a, and 47% grade 3b, the question of whether grade 3b land is BMV is vital to determining whether Mallard will be granted approval.
22nd July 2022 – Contacted Highways England
I wrote to Highways England to request their opinion and share my concerns about the likely impact on our rural road infrastructure should Mallard be built.
19th July – Meeting with Rt Hon. Greg Hands MP to Discuss Mallard Pass and Canadian Solar
I met with Energy Minister Greg Hands MP to discuss Mallard Pass and the primary developer, Canadian Solar. I will continue to encourage the Government to scrutinise this proposal and it’s developers, particularly on the issue of human rights.
19th July – Meeting with Horizon Advisory Researchers
I held a meeting with researchers from Horizon Advisory who have been responsible for exposing the forced labour risks in Canadian Solar’s supply chains. It was extremely useful to hear about their research and has made it even clearer to me why we must fight this development.
28th June – Meeting Held with SHARE Advocacy Group
I held a meeting with a representative from SHARE, the organisation that has been working with concerned shareholders in Canadian Solar to hold their board members to account for failing to properly address accusations of forced labour in their supply chains.
22nd June – Letter to Rt Hon. Greg Hands MP on Canadian Solar Shareholder Actions
I wrote to Minister Hands following revelations that some of Canadian Solar’s own shareholders were working with an advocacy group (SHARE) to remove board members who had failed to act on allegations of forced labour in their supply chains.
4th June – Rutland County Show stall with Mallard Pass Action Group and CPRE Rutland the Countryside Charity
It was great to visit the Rutland County Show and to collect signatures for my petition against Mallard Pass with the Mallard Pass Action Group and CPRE Rutland the Countryside Charity. Thank you to everyone who signed – together we can stop this!
17th May – Letter to Rt Hon. Greg Hands MP about second consultation
I wrote to the Minister for Energy, Greg Hands MP, laying out concerns and inviting him to visit Rutland during the second consultation.
10th May 2022 - Letter to Residents of Villages Near to Proposed Solar Plant
I wrote to residents living near the proposed site for Mallard Pass to lay out my concerns over the proposal and to invite them to sign my petition, which I will present to Parliament. I have also launched a letter writing campaign, encouraging people to send a letter with their concerns to my Parliamentary Office at:
Office of Alicia Kearns
House of Commons
Please do write in but also remember to submit your objections to the consultation by emailing email@example.com
7th April – Essendine Public Meeting
I hosted a public meeting with residents to discuss the proposed Mallard Pass solar plant. The developers had promised to attend but disappointingly dropped out only a few days before. Everyone in antecedence agreed on the importance of our community coming together to fight this inappropriate proposal – thank you to everyone who gave their time and shared their thoughts.
30th March - Mallard Pass developers pull out of public meeting
Mallard Pass has announced that they will not be sending a representative to the residents' meeting in advance of the second stage of the planning consultation, citing the fact that ‘new information regarding our proposals for Mallard Pass will not be available’.
The meeting will go ahead, as planned, and Alicia Kearns hopes that Mallard Pass will change their mind and send a representative – a seat will be kept free for them.
29th March – Raising Canadian Solar’s human rights record in Parliament
I raised Canadian Solar’s human rights record in Parliament.
24th March – Letter to Prime Minister calling on Canadian Solar to be Sanctioned
I wrote to the Prime Minister to lay out concerns over Canadian Solar’s human rights record. I will continue to raise this issue with the Government and to make clear that Rutland will never tolerate such company building in our communities and on our agriculturally rich fields.
23rd March – Alicia Kearns calls for sanctions on Canadian Solar
Following revelations that Canadian Solar had shipments seized by the US Government for containing panels built with blood labour from Xinjiang, Alicia Kearns has written to the Foreign Secretary and Business Secretary to request that they seriously consider sanctioning the Mallard Pass developers for their use of slave labour in production of panels.
11th March - Alicia Kearns raises Mallard Pass at Westminster Hall Debate
In a debate on large solar farms in Westminster Hall, Alicia Kearns spoke about the human rights abuses that the developers of Mallard Pass, Canadian Solar, permits.
Alongside the Mallard Pass Action Group, Alicia Kearns will host a public meeting at Essendine Village Hall on 7th April at 6pm.
This meeting is open to any resident of the Rutland and Melton parliamentary constituency, but spaces are limited. Spaces can be reserved here.
18th February - Alicia Kearns discusses Mallard Pass on BBC East Midlands
Alicia Kearns MP was interviewed by BBC East Midlands for their story about the Mallard Pass solar plant.
14th February - Mallard Pass Petition launched
Alicia Kearns has launched a petition to oppose the proposed Mallard Pass solar plant development.
In addition to the online survey, campaigners have been circulating a paper petition, which will be presented before Parliament.
11th February – Alicia Kearns is interviewed by ITV news about the scale of the proposed solar plant
10th February – Alicia Kearns raises human rights abuses associated with solar panels
In a debate on Taiwan, Alicia Kearns raised the important issue of how the panels that would be the basis of Mallard Pass.
9th February – Alicia Kearns meets DEFRA Secretary George Eustice
Alicia Kearns meets the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, George Eustice, to show him the scale of Mallard Pass, and to reiterate the country’s need to protect our precious agricultural land.
11th January – Alicia Kearns gets confirmation that the views of Rutlanders will be taken into account on Mallard Pass in the House of Commons
7th January – Alicia Kearns visits Mallard Pass site
Alicia Kearns has visited the proposed site of the 2,175-acre Mallard Pass, alongside councillors and members of the Mallard Pass Action Group
16th December – Alicia Kearns writes to developers to oppose Mallard Pass
Alicia Kearns lays out her opposition to the proposed 2,175 acre Mallard Pass solar plant in a letter to Canadian Solar and Windel Energy, developers of Mallard Pass solar plant.