Wrong location

Having attended the meeting of the Malton Town Council (which, it would seem, Peter Winter did not) at which the proposed 92,500 solar development in Old Malton was discussed, I am in a position to respond to and, hopefully, clarify the rather muddled messages arising out of Mr Winter’s letter in last week’s G & H.

Mr Sturdy stated clearly at the outset of his presentation to the Council that he was in favour of green energy, provided it is in the right location but the proposed Harmony Energy development is definitely in the wrong location. Mr Kavanagh of Harmony Energy made it equally clear that if planning permission is not granted for the Old Malton development, his company will apply for permission to develop alternative sites in Ryedale which, presumably, unlike the present scheme, would comply with the appropriate local and national policies.

It is wholly misleading to say that this proposal will ‘serve over 60% of houses in Ryedale’. The generation and consumption of green energy is not defined by the boundaries of Ryedale. It is a national project whereby energy that is produced in Ryedale (and anywhere else for that matter) will feed into the National Grid for the national benefit.

Mr Winter asserts that ‘everybody in this story (including) tenant farmers … exist to make money’. I and, no doubt, Mr Sturdy, fail to understand how he will be able to make money when the land that should enable him to do so for the next 60 years will simply be taken from him.

Finally, no credence should be given to an assertion that ‘regulations require a maximum 300 metre distance from a large energy source’ unless it is supported by specific reference to the relevant ‘regulations’.

Mark Hepworth


Change is needed

The recent unprecedented climate events provide a context for the decision about the proposed solar array at Eden Farm. Both the heat dome in North West USA and Canada and the devastating floods in Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands bring into sharp focus the climate disaster that is unfolding.

Rapid response is required at all levels; personal, local, national and international. This involves in many cases some difficult choices and unpleasant upheaval. The Harmony Energy proposal will make a significant local contribution to the reduction of fossil fuel electricity generation. The location is ideal from a clean energy generation point of view and overrides all other considerations in this time of climate emergency. Alongside the admirable drive to establish a true circular economy in Malton, this investment is the right thing to do.

The displaced family needs to be generously compensated for their sacrifice. Perhaps Harmony Energy and the Fitzwilliam Trust can get together and find an alternative farm and even enable them to own it. However upsetting, sacrifices need to made for the sake of our children, grandchildren and future generations.

We can no longer delay and prevaricate. As a community we need to make changes and I fully support this necessary development.

Paul Elliott Pickering