MORE than half of residents in a South Lakeland community where developers want to build a windfarm support the idea, a survey has suggested.

Banks Renewables’ proposals for three turbines between the M6 and A684 have the backing of 55 per cent of locals, according to a poll at the Killington Parish Meeting.

In the vote - set up to assess the feelings of everyone on the village’s electoral roll - 36 per cent said they were against it, while the remaining nine per cent said they were still to make up their mind.

South Lakeland district councillors are due to decide whether to grant planning permission in the next few months.

If successful, Banks has promised to deliver a so-called ‘community benefits fund’ to the area worth around £675,000 over 25 years to pay for projects like faster broadband and better fuel efficiency.

Resident Andy Newbold, one of those supportive of the green energy scheme, said: “Building the Killington windfarm would mean we’re doing our bit towards producing the energy that is used by everyone in the area, which is something I think is very important, and it would also bring a great deal of local material gain through the fund that would go with it.”

But campaign groups including STAK, Stop Turbines at Killington, are opposed to the development, claiming it would blight the landscape and not produce enough electricity.

Banks says construction of the Killington windfarm would create work for up to 50 people with £4m of contracts available for local firms.

Phil Dyke, development director, said: “We’ve had a lot of support for our proposals over the last nine months from local people who’ve recognised the wide range of benefits that the windfarm would bring to the area, and it’s pleasing to see this support officially reflected in the Killington vote.

“As well as generating substantial amounts of renewable energy, the Killington windfarm would bring a range of other benefits to the local community, from new jobs and contract opportunities for local businesses through to a benefits fund which would create a positive legacy from the windfarm that will last for decades.

“Our hope is that South Lakeland District Council’s planning committee will give due weight to the views of the people in the parish that is closest to the site of the Killington scheme in their deliberations, and we look forward to receiving their judgement.”