AN application to install solar panels at a farm near Barnard Castle has been submitted to Durham County Council.

The plans include the installation of 960 PV panels on land at Thorpe Farm Centre, Thorpe Farm, Great Bridge.

The 0.77 hectare site currently includes an operational agricultural building, caravan and camping site, farm bistro and coffee shop.

The proposals would be to install the panels for 25 years which is expected to generate about 250 KW of electricity each year.

Any electricity generated would be used to power all of the farm businesses with the aim of reducing the demand on the national grid and any surplus would be returned to it.

It would take about five weeks to install the panels and no objections have been raised although Highways England have asked that a condition is made that access to the site is made by Whorlton Lane and that any vehicles involved are not abnormal loads or exceed to weight restriction of the lane.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England, while not specifically objecting to

the proposal, has also raised concerns regarding uncertainty as to the amount of electricity likely to be generated, its purpose, and the size of the site.

The plans, which have been recommended for approval, will be discussed at the Durham County Planning meeting on October 6.