OPPONENTS of the planned Killington windfarm protested just yards from where energy company Banks Renewables held its latest public exhibition.

Members of STAK – the local group Stop Turbines At Killington – gathered outside the village hall where company bosses were updating the public on plans to build five 135 metre-high turbines between the A684 and the M6.

Banks, the company behind Armistead windfarm at nearby Old Hutton, has confirmed it is to submit a planning application to South Lakeland District Council.

But some residents say the landscape is unsuitable for such a development and fear that the visual impact of the windfarm will hit tourism and the economy.

Dr Mike Hall, of STAK, one of around 20 campaigners waving ‘No Thanks Banks’ placards at the protest, said: “Killington Lake is a superb resource enjoyed by fishermen, canoeists, sailors and walkers. It’s a beautiful location and probably the main leisure resource outside Windermere.

“The site is also right on the boundary extension of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.”

South Lakes Action on Climate Change (SLACC) staged a counter-protest and said a ‘coherent energy strategy’ needed to be considered.

SLACC trustee Chris Rowley said: “We need a balance of different sources of energy. Our concern is that over the next 10 or 20 years, energy costs are going to rise significantly.

“Energy security is the key issue. Generating green energy is going to be a key factor. The ecology of the Lake District is significantly affected by climate change.

“We see wind turbines as one part of solving that.”

Banks claims the windfarm would generate enough electricity to supply 9,500 homes a year and remove 23,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere annually.

It has also promised to create up to 50 jobs with £4 million of contracts for local firms.