A planning application for a proposed new wind farm in south Cumbria has been submitted to South Lakeland District Council for consideration.
After putting on public exhibitions in Killington and New Hutton for their updated plans for the three-turbine Killington scheme, which would be located on land between the A684 Sedbergh Road and Junction 37 of the M6, developer Banks Renewables has now moved the scheme on to the next stage of the planning process.
Information was revealed at the recent exhibitions on new initiatives that could provide a fast broadband service for homes and businesses around the wind farm for the entirety of its 25-year lifespan, as well as helping to substantially reduce their fuel bills and increase their energy efficiency through free draught proofing measures.
These ideas have been developed by Banks in response to comments from local people that tackling fuel poverty and improving local broadband access should be amongst the highest priorities when it comes to deciding how the community benefits fund that would be associated with the wind farm might best be used..
The final decision on how to allocate the Killington community benefits fund, which will amount to around £675,000 over the 25-year lifespan of the scheme, will be made by local people, but the broadband and fuel efficiency schemes have been put forward by Banks as examples of how the money might be used to secure a positive, long-term local legacy for the wind farm.
Part of the proposed wind farm site is owned by Killington Educational Foundation and Killington United Charities, and both organisations would also benefit directly from revenues generated by the new wind farm if it is approved.
The Killington wind farm would produce enough renewable energy to meet the annual electricity consumption requirements of around 8,100 homes, and would prevent the release of around 14,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year that would otherwise be generated through the production of the same amount of energy by non-renewable means.
Up to 50 people could be working on site through the construction of the wind farm, and local businesses would also be able to tender for contracts worth around £4m relating to its different aspects of its development, including construction, security, accommodation and catering.
Phil Dyke, development director at Banks Renewables, says: “A great deal of careful planning has gone into creating an environmentally-suitable and efficient design for what we believe is an excellent location for this type of development, and we’re pleased to have reached this latest landmark in the development process.
“As well as generating substantial amounts of renewable energy, the Killington wind farm would bring a range of other benefits to the local community, from new jobs and contract opportunities for local businesses through to a benefits fund which would create a positive legacy from the wind farm that will last for decades.
“Issues surrounding internet access and fuel poverty were raised with us by a lot of local residents, and our ideas around using revenues from the wind farm to potentially provide free broadband connectivity, reduce fuel bills and improve domestic energy efficiently have been very well received.
“Generating more of the energy that we all use from renewable sources is one of the biggest challenges facing us in the coming decades, and we hope that South Lakeland District Council will recognise the contribution that the Killington scheme can make towards meeting it.”
A decision on the planning application is hoped for early in 2013. Anyone who would like any further information about the proposed Killington scheme should contact the Banks Renewables’ community engagement team on 0844 209 1515 or 0191 378 6100, or via email@example.com