AFTER five years of hard work and many planning battles, developers of a South Lakeland windfarm now have all six turbines in place.

Passers-by may have noticed construction work since the New Year as blades, turbine tower stations, hubs and nacelles were put together at the Armistead wind farm, near Old Hutton.

Phil Dyke, development director at Banks Renewables, said he was pleased with how the project had turned out.

“It was quite controversial to begin with, but we are happy with the result, and it’s quite satisfying now that it’s all done,” he said.

“In my opinion it looks good and it has been done to a very high standard.

“There is still landscaping work to be done but that will have to wait until spring, because the ground is so wet and it would just wreck it.”

After having its original planning application refused by a planning committee, Banks Renewables persisted and took its case against South Lakeland District Council to a public inquiry, where it gained consent.

Mr Dyke said: “After that there was a legal challenge and so it took a long time, but eventually we got the permission.

“And it’s really good from a farming point of view that it has gone ahead – it’s a classic example of diversification and the four farmers involved get revenue from it.

“The sheep don’t seem to mind either!”

He added that many asked him why the turbines were not always ‘going round’, despite plenty of wind.

“Turbines need to be commissioned and will be over the next month, which means that they will be switched on and off for testing. “After that they are quite robotic so will be left alone except for servicing,” he explained.

Each of the six turbines, which are 100 metres in height from the tip of the blade to the floor, will generate enough energy to meet the annual electricity consumption needs for around 1,200 homes.

“All turbines are connected to the grid already, and we hope that by the end of March they will be fully operational. They have a 25-year term so should generate a lot of energy in that time,” said Mr Dyke.

“One of the hardest parts of the job is communicating with the public. “But we have built another farm in Doncaster where there was a lot of opposition, and now it has been finished the parish council has been very kind and have realised that their concerns about noise for example have not come to play. “I hope that will happen with the residents here too.”