COUNCILLORS have made a dramatic u-turn about giving their support to a solar farm development.

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Almost 20 people attended Dalton Town Council's meeting on Monday night to protest about plans to construct a 25 acre solar farm on the outskirts of the town.

The plans, which have been submitted to Barrow Borough Council, suggest the farm will lie between Dalton and Askam, near to the A595 roundabout. 

The farm is expected to generate 5MW of renewable energy, which would be enough to power more than 1000 homes.

Dalton town councillors originally supported the proposition but suddenly changed their minds and voted unanimously against the proposals at last night's meeting.

Wendy Maddox, Dalton mayor and town councillor, explained their decision. 

She said: "We listened to everyone's views and looked at a lot of photographs and realised the impact it was going to have, so unanimously voted against it."

The decision was a complete u-turn for the council which had previously supported the proposition.

Cllr Maddox said: "When we first heard about the plans from the company we only really got their side of it and the general consensus of the council was that it was a good idea.

"But we had a lot of people at the meeting and after listening to their views and answering their questions we all voted against it."

One of the people who attended the meeting was Jean Yool, of Mouzell House, who addressed the council on behalf of the residents.

In her speech she outlined a number of objections highlighted by the public, which included the visual and environmental impact of the farm, its location, the fact that it would be built on green land and the duration of its stay.

Ms Yool said: "Twenty-five years is a whole generation and a significant proportion of anybody's lifetime.

"Some people in Dalton may never see these fields again without solar panels and some children in Dalton will grow up without realising how beautiful and unspoilt this area is.

"The consideration that with developments in technology advancing the way they are there is a real possibility that we could be stuck with a technological dinosaur cluttering up our countryside."

The plans have been submitted by New Energy for the World to Barrow Borough Council, who will have the final decision on the application.

Ms Yool added: "To have Dalton council behind us is quite a boost.

"We're definitely more confident now and we're putting together an opposition for the planning department which we'll send by the end of this week."