A CONTROVERSIAL proposal to extend the life of a Furness windfarm has been rejected following overwhelming opposition from local residents and businesses.

Members of South Lakeland District Council's planning committee were less certain, but voted six-to-five in favour of rejecting an application keep the windfarm open until 2027.

It means the 12-turbine windfarm will be decommissioned next year, having been on the moor since 1992.

Local resident and Kirkby-in-Furness business owner Geraldine Scott told the committee: "This is an insidious development. The area is becoming more industrialised. They (the turbines) are a constant irritation and inconvenience in our lives.

"Windfarms are huge, and their placement should be a matter decided by those effected by them, not those who are not. Our wishes should be respected.

Energy company Innorgy had offered Lowick and Kirkby-in-Furness parish councils £24,000 a year to invest locally for the extended eight years of life of the windfarm.

However, councillors described the offer as a 'bribe' easily made when the investment company would be making money from the tax-funded green subsidy it would receive while the farm was operating.

Cllr James Airey, leader of the Conservative group, said: "Many of the best reasons not to accept this application were made by the company themselves in 2015 when they applied for newer, bigger turbines.

"They said that the current turbines were inefficient, hard to maintain and it was hard to come by spare parts.

"They are promising that, if we give them an extra eight years, they will do a better job of restoring the area, but what's to stop them saying they don't have the money then? (when the life of the windfarm comes to an end)

"Now is the time to turn down this application and gain the public trust."

Cllr Kevin Lancaster proposed that the committee reject the application, and said: "We have heard representations from at least 100 parish councillors, four county councillors, and many residents, all of whom said we shouldn't be granting this."

However, Cllr Brenda Gray said: "These turbines are already there, so the damage they do to how the area looks will not be made any worse.

"We need green energy. Technology has not been that fast in finding something better. In eight years it may do.

"I would ask people to support this windfarm and let it continue for the next eight years."

But the council voted in favour of rejecting the proposal.