February 11, 2014 | Armistead News
Plans for a new three-turbine wind farm in south Cumbria have received official local backing after South Lakeland District Council’s planning committee approved a planning application for the project by a majority of eight votes to three.
Developer Banks Renewables put forward plans for the three-turbine Killington wind farm, which will be located to the south of the A684 Sedbergh Road, adjacent to Junction 37 of the M6, and which will have an installed capacity of around 10.2MW.
Banks has conducted an extensive public engagement project around the scheme, and has gathered a wide range of public backing for it, with more than 1,400 letters of support being submitted to the Council.
However, despite the Council planning committee’s clear vote in favour of the Killington scheme, the Department for Communities & Local Government (DCLG) has issued an Article 25 Notice and is now reviewing whether there are any grounds on which the decision should be ‘called in.’
This would mean that the local decision by the South Lakeland District Councillors would not stand and an eventual determination of the planning application would be made centrally by the Secretary of State, Eric Pickles.
A range of economic, social and environmental benefits form part of the overall Killington development package, including facilities that could enable a new fixed wireless system capable of bringing fast broadband to the local area for the first time, which was developed by Banks in response to the priorities expressed by local people when they were asked how the community benefits fund that will be linked to the wind farm might best be allocated.
The fund could amount to around £1.25 million over the wind farm’s 25-year lifespan, and Banks will continue to work with local people to identify community and environmental improvements that the fund can be used to support.
The Killington Education Foundation and Killington United Charities are part-owners of the land on which the Killington wind farm would sit, and both organisations will also further benefit directly from revenues generated by it.
Up to 50 people will be working on site through the construction of the wind farm, and local businesses will also be able to tender for contracts worth around £2m relating to different aspects of its development, including construction, security, accommodation and catering.
Phil Dyke, development director at Banks Renewables, says: “The strong mandate given by South Lakeland District Council’s planning committee to the Killington wind farm is directly in line with the strong emphasis placed on local decision-making within the National Planning Policy Framework.
“More than 1,400 letters were submitted to the Council in support of the Killington wind farm, the vast majority of which came from people living within ten miles of the site, and as per the Government’s stated wish to see communities gain direct advantages from development projects in their area, it will be these people who will enjoy the economic, social and employment benefits that it will bring.
“This is a well-designed scheme that is set in a wholly suitable location, and as well as helping to generate more of the energy that we all use through renewable means, it will also see up to 50 people working on site through its construction and will lead to contracts worth around £2m becoming available for tender to local businesses around various different aspects of its development.
“The community benefits fund associated with the wind farm will make up to £1.25m available over the 25-year lifespan of the scheme, and we will continue to work with local people to ensure that it is allocated in ways which meet their priorities, including through the progression of the plans to improve broadband access for local businesses and homes that we developed in response to strong local demand.
“This is a hugely ambitious and exciting project that will impact positively on local people and businesses in many ways, and it offers a unique opportunity to provide a service that so many residents have told us they need.
“We’re extremely grateful to the many local people who strongly supported the Killington project in the run-up to and at the planning committee meeting, and we look forward to realising the many benefits of taking it forward on the expected timetable.”
Anyone looking for further information about any aspect of the Killington wind farm should either visit www.banksgroup.co.uk/killington or contact the Banks Renewables’ community engagement team on 0191 378 6100 or via firstname.lastname@example.org