A CONTROVERSIAL decision over whether a gas-fired power station and industrial storage can be built on farmland at Old Hutton has been delayed.

It had been due to come before a meeting of South Lakeland District Council's planning committee on July 27, but has been put back to September 28 because of the weight of objections and to allow developers Statera Energy to provide more information about access, drainage and other matters.

The Gazette has reported the mounting opposition from villagers to the proposal which also includes plans for a lithium battery storage facility.

There have been more than 1,000 objections but campaigners opposing the plans are concerned that the delay will give the London-based developers more time to strengthen their case for the scheme to go ahead.

David Stephenson for the campaign group, said: “It will blight generations of lives in Old Hutton and Kendal with air pollution, increased flood risks, and the threat of fire and explosion from gas-generation and potentially volatile battery storage.”

The plans include eleven 15-metre high chimneys emitting nitrogen oxide fumes produced by the power station and more than 40 industrial storage containers to house the lithium ion battery storage. Campaigners have vowed to continue the fight with demands for councillors to eject the plans. They have also enlisted the support of local MP Tim Farron.

London-based venture capitalist developer Statera Energy will now be submitting new information to address the concerns raised, which means anyone opposing the plans can continue to submit objections until September.

Statera has warned that during the six-month construction there could be up to 240 heavy goods vehicle movements per day along the narrow lanes around the site, and on the road linking Kendal to Kirkby Lonsdale.

Residents are concerned about the effect of emissions on children at the nearby Old Hutton primary school down wind from the site, and the threat of fire at the facility which would be virtually impossible to deal with effectively because of the limited access.

They claim that creating hard standing with water run-off will also significantly increase flooding risks for local residents who saw homes and roads under water in 2015. Invasive noise from air conditioning fans and turbines – particularly at night – is another reason for objections.

The development will also be clearly visible from surrounding viewpoints including The Helm, say campaigners

Andrew Troup, of Statera Energy, said: "We are engaging with Cumbria County Highways over the construction routes and drainage for the site.

"The delay is because we are in dialogue with the council. They wanted some more information. The delays are not because of anything that anybody else has said."