PLANS for a new three-turbine wind farm close to the Yorkshire Dales National Park have been withdrawn by the developers behind the scheme.

Banks Renewables’ planning application for the 132 metre-high turbines near Killington was approved by South Lakeland District Council’s planning committee in January this year by a majority of seven votes to three.

But SLDC's decision was ‘called in’ for determination by the Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government before the planning permission could be issued, and was due to be examined by the Planning Inspectorate at a public inquiry to be held in September.

However the developers have now withdrawn the application - citing changes to government policy on on-shore wind farms and the cost of a public inquiry.

“We have a strong case to put before the public inquiry, but in the present political climate, we know we are unlikely to get a balanced consideration of the merits for the project as a whole, so have decided to withdraw our planning application with immediate effect to save further costs being unnecessarily incurred by the local Council," said Phil Dyke, development director at Banks Renewables.

“The National Planning Policy Framework puts particular emphasis on decision-making being focused at a local level, but seeing a clear mandate from a local council withheld at a national Governmental level shows that this principle is not actually being realised in practice.

“A clear majority of the members of South Lakeland District Council’s planning committee voted in favour of our Killington wind farm proposals, and judged that the economic, environmental and community benefits it would bring to the area and to the local community outweighed any issues that had been otherwise raised about them.

“The Killington wind farm remains a well-designed scheme in an entirely suitable location that has had considerable local backing over the last two years, and we’re especially grateful to the 1,400 people who took the time to send letters of support about it to the Council, the vast majority of whom live within ten miles of the site.

“We will be reviewing the site, and the planned provision of broadband for people and businesses in the area, in due course.

“With many significant energy and environmental challenges facing the UK over the coming years, modern, efficient, indigenous onshore wind farms like Killington have a crucial role to play in generating more of the clean, green energy that we all use in our homes, schools and businesses.”