Leominster Community Solar supported Friends of the Earth in their legal challenge to government over the proposed cut-off date of 12th December, which was before the consultation closed. FoE were representing the community sector and members of the public who wished to install solar, but who didn’t have the means to mount a legal challenge themselves.
We were delighted when just before Christmas, the judges at the High Court ruled in our favour, declaring the 12th December date illegal. It was disappointing to hear that the government intended to appeal this decision at the Appeal Court (as the High Court said there were insufficient grounds to appeal there). We feel this is a further waste of tax payers money and the added time involved has left the solar industry in limbo. We await the outcome of the appeal judges decision and support FoE in their letter urging the government to act now to resolve the situation.
On 19th January we learnt of the government’s intention to lay proposals before parliament for a revised date of 3rd March, to replace the 12th December, in the event they do not win their appeal. This does not affect our project but we believe it’s an important point of principle, to ensure the FIT scheme is run in a fair and transparent manner in the future, enabling all members of the public who want to invest in renewables to do so with confidence, and to enable the industry to grow and invest in research and development.