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Eric Pickles steps into Killington wind farm row
THE government has become involved in an hotly-debated plan to build three large wind turbines close to the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Members of South Lakeland District Council’s planning committee gave the green light to site the 132-metre high turbines on land north of Killington reservoir in January.
However, it has now emerged that the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has intervened and has asked to see the relevant planning documents.
Headed by Eric Pickles MP, the Secretary of State for DCLG, it gives government officials time to examine whether the decision was made on a sound basis.
If Mr Pickles does decide to call the decision in then a public inquiry will be set up.
Despite the plan being recommended for refusal by officers, the committee gave the thumbs up to the plan by a seven to three majority.
Arguments put forward for approval included the financial benefits offered by developers and decreasing reliability on fossil fuels.
However, concerns were raised over the effect the turbines would have on local wildlife, scenery and the tourism trade.
There were 1,045 individual objections to the project and 1,245 letters and e-mails in support of granting consent.
A SLDC spokesperson said: “The Secretary of State now has a period of time to decide whether to call in this decision for his determination.”
But Phil Dyke, development director at Banks Renewables, remained confident the plan would go ahead.
He said: “The strong mandate given by South Lakeland District Council’s planning committee to the Killington wind farm is directly in line with the strong emphasis placed on local decision-making within the National Planning Policy Framework.
“We’re extremely grateful to the many local people who strongly supported the Killington project in the run-up to and at the planning committee meeting, and we look forward to realising the many benefits of taking it forward on the expected timetable.”