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South Lakes windfarm plans under fire

Fierce criticism met plans for South Lakeland’s newest windfarm when they were publicly unveiled yesterday.

Five 135 metre-high turbines could be sited on land at Killington, between the A684 and Junction 37 of the M6.

Energy firm Banks Renewables, the company behind Armistead windfarm at Old Hutton, near Kendal, said the scheme would generate enough electricity to supply 9,500 homes a year.

Bosses claim the windfarm would take 23,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere every year and create up to 50 jobs with £4 million contracts on offer to local firms.

However, opponents were not convinced the benefits outweighed the impact on the landscape.

Mike Hall, president of Friends of Eden, Lakeland and Lunesdale Scenery (FELLS), said the turbines would be twice as high as those at nearby Lambrigg and the group would ‘strongly oppose’ them.

“Such blighting of South Lakeland, judged by the TV programme Relocation, Relocation as the most desirable area to live in England, is totally unacceptable and will outrage many people,” he said.

Killington resident and Ramblers’ Association spokesman Dr Malcolm Petyt said windfarms should not be built in what he described as ‘the finest countryside in northern England’.

“The energy companies would be better putting their efforts into research on hydro and tidal power,” he said.

Concerned locals packed into Killington Parish Hall to see the plans and have their say.

Rosemary Irvin, of Sleagill, said: “Cumbria is in danger of being completely overtaken by these things.”

Old Hutton resident Stephen Hinchliffe called the scheme ‘appalling’ as the turbines would be clearly visible from the M6.

“What kind of impression is that creating of the Lake District?” he said.”

Phil Dyke, Banks Renewables development director, said bigger turbines converted wind into electricity more efficiently, but accepted a balance was needed with ‘visibility issues’.

Meanwhile, FELLS is ‘outraged’ at proposals for a 12-turbine windfarm in the Lune Valley, between Hornby and Caton, submitted by Community Windpower Ltd.