SIGHS of relief and a round of applause could be heard after controversial plans to replace a windfarm were refused. 

The decision was made yesterday at the Coronation Hall in Ulverston by South Lakeland District Council's planning committee. 

The meeting, which started at 10am, welcomed a full house. 

The planning application which drew so much attention was submitted last year by energy giant, RWE. 

They proposed to replace the 12 turbines at Kirkby Moor Wind Farm, which stands less than a mile outside the Lake District National Park, with six 115m-high ones.

This proposal was met with objections from conservation groups, environmentalists and councils straight away.

Before the meeting took place planning officer, Kate Lawson, had recommended the application for refusal. 

Residents came forward and spoke individually about the impact the 'monstrouous' turbines would have on their life. 

One of which was Roni Johnstone, who lives in Broughton Beck. 

She said: "The turbines will be a visual intrusion, for you won't be able to ignore them. 

"They will be huge, vertical, man-made, steel tubes with blades, so big that they are larger in diameter than the length of a jumbo jet."

One after another the residents made their way to the table to face the committee and appeal for the application to be refused. 

The committee heard that there had been over 400 letters of objection and only 20 in support. 

One person who wanted the windfarm to go ahead was Bill Shaw. 

He said: "We live in a very uncertain world at the moment and we as a nation need to look at our internal security. 

"Cumbria produces a considerable amount of food and water but with this application we could increase the amount of energy we supply."

A number of councillors also made their views clear to the committee. 

Cllr James Airey said: "This is the most monstrous, controversial and unwanted planning application that this area has seen in decades."

At the end of the meeting nine councillors on the planning committee voted against, two for and one abstained. 

RWE Innogy UK’s Kirkby Moor project developer, Chris Gainey said: “We are deeply disappointed with this decision. 

"We already know this is an excellent location for a windfarm. The existing wind farm has been a successful part of this community for nearly 25 years. 

"During that time it has made a valuable contribution toward combating climate change, as well as directly benefitting the local community. 

"We will now consider the decision in full before deciding what happens next.”