Killington wind turbine plan due to be decided this week

CONTROVERSIAL proposals to place three large wind turbines on a sensitive site close to a national park will be discussed tomorrow (Thursday) by planners.

Opinion has been polarised over whether the trio of 132-metre high towers should be built on grazing land to the north of Killington reservoir and just three kilometres from the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Those views will be heard today by South Lakeland Dist-rict Council’s planning committee, which is being recom- mended to refuse the plan on the grounds that the proposed turbines would provide ‘a prominent interruption of views of notable and sensitive features’ when viewed from the M6 and A684 Kendal to Sedbergh road.

New Hutton, Firbank, Dent, Lambrigg, Old Hutton, Man-sergh, Casterton and Grayrigg parish councils have all opposed the application, citing the visual and landscape impact of the turbines as one of the main objections.

The turbines will be seen from the Howgills, Middleton, Bar-bon and Casterton Fells, Scout Scar, Grayrigg and Whinfell Beacon.

There is also opposition from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and Cumbria County Council, Friends of the Lake District, Natural England, Friends of Kirkby Lonsdale and District Civic Society, the Open Spaces Society and Killington Lake Wildlife Group.

There have also been 1,045 individual objections to the project – but 1,245 letters and e-mails in support of planning consent being granted.

Organisations in favour of the application include Radiation Free Lakeland and South Lake-land Action on Climate Change. SLACC members held a ‘flashmob’ event in Kendal town centre in support of the turbines, forming a human turbine to demonstrate their backing for the project and to gather interest from passers-by.

They have also staged public information events in Kendal, Sedbergh, Ulverston, Grange-over-Sands and at Killington Services.

More than 1,400 people signed up in support of the plans and nearby residents Chris Rowley and Nick Chetwood, who co-ordinated the project to provide a focal point for support for the Killington scheme, are hoping the strength of local opinion will given due weight when the planning committee considers the application – submitted by developer Banks Renewables.

“Local people have given us a wide variety of reasons for their support for the Killington scheme, but the most common one has been the consequences of climate change and the need to do as much as we can to protect the environment,” said Mr Rowley.

“If the consequences of climate change are not tackled through methods such as producing more of the energy we all use through cleaner means then we have far more to lose than from wind turbines in carefully selected locations.”

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