[WATCH] Solar farms cannot be built on agricultural land, Environment Minister insists

Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia says the solar farm policy is clear that PV panels cannot be set up on agricultural land

Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia
Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia

Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia has reiterated that current legislation prohibits solar farms from being built on agricultural land. 

Speaking to MaltaToday before a Cabinet meeting on Monday, Farrugia said the government's solar farms policy was clear: "Solar farms are not to be built on agricultural land."

He said investors are encouraged to build solar farms on disused landfills, industrial land, roofs, and car parks, but agricultural land was off limits. 

His comments come in the wake of objections by residents and Moviment Graffitti to a proposed massive solar farm development in Mgarr. The development will cover 38 tumoli of arable land.

The PN also called for the authorities to reconsider the development of solar farms on agricultural land and instead to relocate them to urban areas.

The planning policy regulating the development of solar farms excludes such developments in agricultural areas. The project is still awaiting consideration by the Planning Authority.

Asked whether the government would step in if the project were approved by the Planning Authority, Farrugia said the policy the authority was working with is clear that solar farms cannot be built on agricultural land.