Killington test wind mast set to be removed

October 10, 2014 | Renewables News

The test mast currently located on a potential wind farm site in south Cumbria is set to be removed in the next few days.

Renewable energy firm Banks Renewables had applied for planning permission to allow the 80m mast to stay on the Killington wind farm site to allow further wind data to be gathered, but this request was turned down by South Lakeland District Council at the end of September.

Plans have now been finalised for the removal of the mast on Tuesday 14 October, but Banks is still continuing its investigations into whether an alternative scheme might be brought forward for the site, which sits to the south of the A684 Sedbergh Road, adjacent to Junction 37 of the M6.

The original three-turbine Killington scheme was approved by South Lakeland District Council in January this year, but Banks decided to withdraw it during the summer in advance of a public inquiry that was due to be held in September after the planning application was ‘called in’ for determination by the Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government.

The withdrawal occurred in the light of recent policy announcements and overwhelmingly negative decisions by the Secretary of State towards all onshore wind farm developments, and was designed to avoid the additional unnecessary cost of a public inquiry having to be paid from from the public purse.

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, but despite this application receiving a recommendation for approval from the Council’s planning officers, its planning committee chose to reject it.

Phil Dyke, development director at Banks Renewables, says: “While we are disappointed at the planning committee’s recent decision, we fully respect the right of local authorities to have their say over our applications and are moving to take down the test mast as quickly as we can.

“With many significant energy and environmental challenges facing the UK over the coming years, modern, efficient, indigenous onshore wind farms like Killington are the most cost-effective form of large-scale renewable energy generation and have a crucial role to play in generating more of the clean, green energy that we all need to fuel our homes, schools and businesses.”

Banks conducted an extensive public dialogue around the original Killington scheme, 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 worth up to £1.25m over the 25-year lifespan of the scheme and a new initiative that would have delivered fast broadband to the local area for the first time.

Phil Dyke continues: “The forced withdrawal of the original Killington scheme meant that the many community benefits that would have come with the wind farm were lost, which was greatly disappointing both to ourselves and to the many local people with whom we’d worked to develop projects that responded to particular local needs.

“We’re still considering our options for future alternative schemes that might be suitable for the Killington site, and will ensure any progress that we make on this front is announced in due course.”

Registered office: Inkerman House, St John's Road, Meadowfield, Durham, DH7 8XL

Registered in England number 2267400. VAT registration number 569 3236 14

© 2021 Banks Group. All rights reserved.