Posted by Richard Willett - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 29 May 2024

Farmers are being booted off their land in a drive for more solar power, outgoing union chief warns

The head of Britain’s farming union yesterday spoke out against large-scale solar farms, declaring ‘there’s a huge amount not to like’.

But Minette Batters warned they will continue to be built while her members faced uncertainty about the future of dairy and arable farming – and while wealthy investors are free to buy up large chunks of the countryside.

Ms Batters, outgoing president of the National Farmers’ Union, also highlighted ‘horrific examples’ where tenant farmers are being booted off land for huge solar schemes so the landowner can make more money.

She said such changes of land use will continue while investors including overseas financiers and private equity firms are able to buy up huge chunks of the rural landscape unchecked, warning: ‘The country is up for sale’.

Ms Batters called for the next government to prioritise a new land strategy, so protections are given to traditional farming and its economic value is properly-acknowledged.

She added: ‘We are a country up for sale. We are selling off land to people who don’t pay their taxes here. It does have to change.’

Ms Batters was speaking during a debate at the Hay Literary Festival on Tuesday, in response to a question from an audience member horrified about the proliferation of giant solar farms covering several square miles of land.

She said she could understand opposition to solar farms – but also had sympathy for farmers cashing in on such projects because they provide a guaranteed, index-linked income for decades.

‘You can understand at the moment, from a farmer’s perspective… £1,200 a hectare (per year), index-linked, locked in for 20 years, what’s not to like?’ she said.

‘For everybody else, there’s a huge amount not to like. This is the trouble with a solar farm. There will be one beneficiary.’

But Ms Batters said that in some cases, farmers themselves have been forced to leave their farms to make way for solar farms if they are tenants of larger landowners.

She said: ‘We are seeing horrific examples of some land owners taking land back from tenants to put into solar.’

Ms Batters criticised how land ownership by wealthy investors including private equity firms is being allowed to proliferate – and called for action.

Citing the debt-fuelled private equity takeover of supermarket chain Morrisons, which the Daily Mail campaigned against, she said: ‘We saw what happened with Morrisons. We might not have a British-owned supermarket in 10 years.

‘Now, private equity has moved into land. The country is up for sale.

‘I remember having a conversation with (former Chancellor) Kwasi Kwarteng. He said, you can’t be a free market one day and not the next.

‘We are a country up for sale. We are selling off land to people who don’t pay their taxes here. It does have to change.’

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