A FARM is bidding to become self-sufficient for energy with plans to erect 214 solar panels and a 15-metre wind turbine.

Cold Comfort Farm, in Neasham, near Darlington, is hoping the proposals, if approved, will create about 66,000 kWh of green electricity, enough to power the farm with energy left over to feed back into the national grid.

The plans, submitted to Darlington Borough Council this week, would see the panels erected on an agricultural building at the cattle farm, with the turbine erected near to the farm buildings.

If approved, the two measures could create an excess of up to 55,000kWh of sustainable energy and save more than 35 tonnes of carbon emmissions.

Agent for the project, building consultant Brian Newman, said the farm was hoping to become more environmentally friendly.

"They are hoping to become more green, " he said. "I suppose it's a form of diversification. It will produce a lot for the farm, with the excess going back into the national grid."

The farm is the latest in the area to make a bid to create its own energy, following an application from Acorn Dairies, to build a 67-metre high wind turbine at Garthorne Farm, Archdeacon Newton, near Darlington.

Neasham Parish Council chairman John Weighell said the plans were a novel approach to self-sustainibility.

"We are going to discuss it at our next meeting. I would be surprised if members decided to object. It looks good to me.

I have been to look at the site.

"The solar panels are fairly hidden from view and the wind turbine is not in an obvious place.

"The farm is very much into the green side of things - they even sank their own bore hole."

The Campaign to Protect Rural England is not thought to have objections to the Cold Comfort Farm development, because it is a small structure and the solar panels will be attached to an existing building.

The Northern Echo contacted the farm for comment, but no one was available.