Campaigners have welcomed the withdrawal of plans to build three new wind turbines close to theYorkshire Dales National Park ahead of a planned public inquiry.
Developers Banks Renewables’ cited changes to government policy to on-shore wind farms and the cost of an inquiry on the public purse as its reasons for pulling out of the proposal near Killington reservoir.
The turbines, which would have been located to the south of the A684, next to J37 of the M6, were approved by South Lakeland District Council in January.
The council’s decision was ‘called in’ by Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, before the planning permission could be issued.
Eight days had been set aside for the inquiry in Kendal but developers revealed this week they have withdrawn the plans.
The organisations who made the call-in request were FELLS, Friends of the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales Society.
The Dales Gateway Group was formed to represent all groups opposed to the wind farm at the inquiry.
“We had a very good case prepared and believe we would have succeeded,” said Malcolm Petyt, vice-president of the Yorkshire Dales Society.
“By withdrawing the application, Banks have run shy and deprived the people of South Lakeland of the opportunity to see the evidence properly tested. The tears they are shedding about the costs are no more than crocodile tears.”
And Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the Open Spaces Society, who also opposed the plan, said: “This is splendid. The development had far-reaching, national implications.”
Tanya Hoare of STAK (Stop Turbines at Killington) said: “We supported the request for a public inquiry because the voice of local people had been ignored. All but one of the surrounding affected local parishes were opposed to the scheme, and over 1,000 letters of objection had been sent in.”
Supporters included South Lakes Action on Climate Change and Radiation Free Lakeland but opponents argued the turbines would impact on wildlife, scenery and the tourism trade.
Phil Dyke, development director at Banks, said: “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 application with immediate effect to save further costs being unnecessarily incurred by the council.”
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