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Friends of the Lake District welcome news that applications for industrial developments near Old Hutton have been rejected

South Lakeland District Council Planning Committee has rejected two applications for a 49.99MW battery storage facility and a 49.99MW gas-fired electricity generation station on land to the north of the Old Hutton Substation, near Kendal in the Lake District.

The applications cover an area of 3.96 hectares. The plans called for a network of 40 shipping containers with batteries to form an energy storage facility. There would also be a gas-fired electricity generation station consisting of 11 4.5MW Gas Engine Casements, each with a protruding stack.

Old Hutton is a rural settlement about three miles east of Kendal and many in local communities have been campaigning against the proposals since their submission to the planning authority in May 2017.

At a planning committee meeting held in Kendal last week, concerns were raised by opponents of the proposals, who cited the visual impacts of the scheme which threaten the rural nature of the area and its wider impact on far-reaching views from sites such as the Helm near Kendal.

Transport implications during the construction period were also raised as a concern. Many were worried that the development would have a significant impact upon the rural road network.

Landscape charity Friends of the Lake District submitted objections to the proposals on the basis of detrimental landscape and visual impacts and spoke at the planning committee alongside members of the surrounding community.

The presence of the existing substation is not a justification to intensify industrial development

Laura Fiske, Planning Officer for Friends of the Lake District, said:

“We welcome the decision by the planning committee to refuse these applications on the basis of landscape impact. We strongly believe that this development, due to its scale and nature, is inappropriate in this agricultural landscape and would give rise to detrimental impacts upon the landscape character of the area.

“This landscape has limited capacity to accommodate development which is not related to agriculture. The presence of the existing substation is not a justification to intensify industrial development and exacerbate the adverse landscape impacts in this sensitive area.”

It is anticipated that the developer will appeal the decision to refuse permission. Friends of the Lake District has committed to working with the community to resist the appeal and any subsequent proposals for inappropriate development in this location.

Image © Shutterstock / Anthon Jackson