PLANS to build a solar farm near Kendal are set to be given the green light by the council in a bid to help a major employer meet carbon neutral targets.

Members of the strategic planning committee for Westmorland and Furness Council are in line to approve plans from Ellergreen Estate to construct a 3MV solar farm near Burneside to provide electricity for James Croppers paper mill.

Planning documents state: “The proposal would deliver greater sustainability and energy supply security for Croppers Paper Mill by providing a clean and reliable energy source. This will make a valued contribution towards reducing the business’s carbon emissions and reliance on imported fossil fuels.

“Moreover, the proposal will assist in achieving the company’s ambitions to become carbon neutral by 2030 which, in turn, contributes to the wider aims of the district in striving for carbon neutrality by 2037 in response to the climate emergency.”

The proposed solar farm will be located 380 metres north of the James Cropper Mill and will cover 7.56 hectares of land. It will also offset 670 tonnes of CO2 each year.

A design and access statement says: “It is essential that the company responds to the acknowledged climate crisis and growing energy costs and price instability.

“The priority of the landowner is to take actions now that will ensure the long-term future of the company and set an example to others of how to manage the needs of energy without impacting the earth’s climate.”

Burneside Parish Council support the application given the climate crisis but raised concern over the size of the proposed development.

The plans received 16 representations which raised concerns over the loss of farmland and the visual impact of the proposals.

Members of the strategic planning committee for Westmorland and Furness Council are set to approve the plans when they meet on Thursday (January 11) at Kendal Town Hall.