PLANS to set up 40,000 solar panels on four fields in Wokingham are set for approval, despite dozens of objections.

Wessex Solar Energy has applied for planning permission to build the solar farm on 48 acres of agricultural land just off Swallowfield Road in Arborfield.

According to the plans, the solar panels will generate enough renewable electricity each year to power 3,736 homes.

Wokingham Borough Council's Planning Committee is expected to approve the plans at a meeting on December 9, after they were recommended for approval by council planning officers.

READ MORE: Wokingham leaders still hoping for U-turn on planning shake up 

In a report, officers say the "benefits of renewable energy provision would be significant" and points out that Wokingham is aiming to become carbon neutral by 2030.

They are recommending that the company is granted planning permission to operate a solar farm on the site for 40 years.

The report states 89 people have objected to the plans and some are concerned it "would look ugly".

Objectors are also claiming that valuable agricultural land would be lost and there would be a "negative impact on biodiversity" and an increased risk of flooding.

However, the planning officers' report says the land will be "sown as pasture for grazing by sheep" and wildflowers will be planted.

The report adds: "The soil and land quality will be largely unaffected, and the proposed additional drainage and restorative farming practices may even improve the longer term quality of the land resulting in higher crop yields once the site is returned to agricultural use."

Wokingham’s carbon footprint is 580.9 kilotonnes (kt) of carbon dioxide (CO2) and 44.5 per cent of emissions come from energy use in people’s homes while 31.4 per cent come from transport, according to a recent council report.

That means Wokingham emitted more CO2 into the atmosphere in 2017 than several small countries did in the previous year, including Andorra (469ktCo2), and Belize (568ktCo2).