January 29, 2013 | Armistead News
Residents in a South Lakeland parish have expressed their support for plans for a new wind farm in the area.
The Killington Parish Meeting set up a vote for everyone on the village’s 2012 electoral roll to assess local opinion about the proposed Killington wind farm, which would be located on land between the A684 Sedbergh Road and Junction 37 of the M6.
The poll result showed a clear majority in favour of the three-turbine scheme amongst those that cast their votes, with 55 per cent supporting the scheme, 36 per cent voting against and the remaining nine per cent saying they were undecided.
Killington resident Andy Newbold, who runs agricultural events and support businesses from his home in the village, was one of the people who voted in favour of the scheme.
He says: “Building the Killington wind farm would mean we’re doing our bit towards producing the energy that’s used by everyone in the area, which is something I think is very important, and it would also bring a great deal of local material gain through the fund that would go with it.
“We obviously want to get the best deal we can for the village, and also need full confidence that any developer that wants to work here will live up to their promises.
“From what I can see, Banks has a positive attitude towards corporate social responsibility and a good track record of working with communities such as ours to deliver local improvements using revenues generated by their wind farms.”
The Killington wind farm would have an installed capacity of up to 10.2MW. 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.
Banks has also developed new initiatives around tackling fuel poverty and improving local broadband access as part of the wind farm project, in response to comments from local people about 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 fund, which will amount to around £675,000 over the 25-year lifespan of the scheme, will be agreed with local people, and 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.
Banks submitted a planning application for the Killington scheme to South Lakeland District Council in September last year, and is hoping to get a decision on it early in 2013.
Phil Dyke, development director at Banks Renewables, says: “We’ve had a lot of support for our proposals over the last nine months from local people who’ve recognised the wide range of benefits that the wind farm would bring to the area, and it’s pleasing to see this support officially reflected in the Killington vote.
“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.
“Our hope is that South Lakeland District Council’s planning committee will give due weight to the views of the people in the parish that is closest to the site of the Killington scheme in their deliberations, and we look forward to receiving their judgement in the new year.”
For more information on Killington Wind Farm please click here.