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’ plan 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 local electoral roll – 36 per cent said they were against it and the rest (nine per cent) were still to make up their minds.

South Lakeland District Council is due to decide whether to grant planning consent in the next few months.

If successful, Banks has promised to deliver a ‘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 supporting the green energy scheme, said: “Building the windfarm would mean we’re doing our bit towards producing the energy that is used by every-one in the area, which is something I think is important, and it would also bring a great deal of local material gain through the fund.”

But campaign groups inc-luding STAK (Stop Turbines at Killington) are opposed to the development, claiming it would blight the landscape and not produce enough electricity. The company 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 for Banks Renewables, said: “We’ve had a lot of support for our proposals over the last nine months from local people who have recognised the wide range of benefits the windfarm would bring to the area. It’s pleasing to see this officially reflected in the Killington vote.

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