Cumbria

Old Hutton gas plant plan rejected by councillors for second time

Old Hutton Residents Gather Outside Kendal Town Hall
Image caption More than 30 villagers attended the meeting

Plans for a gas-fired power station in Cumbria have been narrowly rejected by councillors for a second time.

Statera Energy's plan to build a gas plant and neighbouring storage facility at Old Hutton, near Kendal, were stopped in January.

South Lakeland District Council was locked five votes in favour and five against with one abstention at its planning committee meeting on Friday.

But chairman Pete McSweeney used his casting vote to reject the plans.

Mr Sweeney said: "The expectation has been that as chairman of the planning committee I would vote with our officers.

"We checked the council constitution yesterday and that is not the case. I do have a free vote and I will vote against."

'We're ecstatic'

The decision sparked cheers and shouts of "yes" from the public gallery with a round of applause breaking out, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Chris Nelson, chairman of Old Hutton Action Group, said: "We're ecstatic. It was a nail-biting finish and we are hugely grateful to the council for supporting us in our opposition."

Statera said the plant, which was to be built on a 3.9-hectare field near a school, would have provided up to 49.99MW of "reliable, low carbon electricity".

Mr Nelson said the applicants could appeal or come back with a revised scheme and residents would "unite again".

He said: "We will continue to oppose this in any of its forms."

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