POLARISED views on proposals to build a wind farm in the South Lakeland countryside could divide the close-knit community living nearby.

More than 100 people from Old Hutton gathered at the village hall on Tuesday to view plans drawn up by Banks Developments for a five to eight turbine wind farm at Armitstead on the outskirts of the village.

The proposals sparked anger among many local people when they were announced last week and prompted an emergency meeting and the setting up of A Blot - a pressure group made up of residents opposed to the wind farm due to the impact it would have on the local landscape and wildlife.

However, the proposals have found a great deal of support among many local people who are in favour of the development of renewable energy and both those for and against the wind farm have expressed fears that the scheme could create divisions in the community.

Old Hutton resident Sue Faulkner, who is in favour of the scheme, said she attended the meeting called by objectors to the wind farm last week and was the only speaker in favour of the plans.

She said she was concerned that the issue could "split the village" and a straw poll she had carried out revealed that many local people were in favour of it and many were undecided but not against it.

Old Hutton parish councillor Paul Edwards who called last week's emergency meeting, said: "We are planning to hold a village ballot in the New Year so everyone can have a say on how the parish council votes."

For story in full, see the August 24 Westmorland Gazette.