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Banks ‘to consider next move’ after Killington wind turbine blow

Green energy developer Banks Renewables says it is considering its options after a planning application to allow a test wind mast to stay on the site of a potential windfarm site at Killington was rejected by South Lakeland District Council.

The 80m mast on the site was erected by Banks in 2012 as part of its design work for the three-turbine scheme that it was looking to locate on land next to J37 of the M6.

The Killington scheme was approved by South Lakeland District Council in January this year, but Banks decided to withdraw it last month in advance of a public enquiry that was due to be held in September after the planning application was ‘called in’ for determination by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

In July, Banks applied for permission to leave the test mast in place to gather further wind data as it considers whether a revised wind farm design for this location might be developed.

This application had received a recommendation for approval from South Lakeland District Council’s planning officers, but despite its previous support for the wind farm as a whole, the authority’s planning committee chose to reject it.

Banks says it has conducted an extensive public dialogue around the Killington scheme over the last two years, and gathered a wide range of local backing for it, with more than 1,400 letters of support being submitted to the council in advance of the original planning committee meeting.

A range of local economic, social and environmental benefits would have been delivered by the original Killington wind farm proposals, including a community benefits fund amounting to up to £1.25m over the 25-year lifespan of the scheme.

A new initiative that would have delivered fast broadband to the local area for the first time was also developed by Banks in response to the priorities expressed when local people were asked how the community benefits fund linked to the wind farm could best be allocated.