A COMMUNITY-run village pub is seeking to cut "crippling losses" by installing solar panels on its roof.

The New Inn Halse has submitted a planning application for the project to Somerset West and Taunton Council.

The pub, which has traded continuously since the 1700s, almost closed in 2020.

But it was rescued through the backing of 200 shareholders, grants and hard work that helped create the Halse and District Community Benefit Society, which bought the business.

The New Inn has grown in popularity despite the challenges of the pandemic, chef shortages and rampant inflation.

However, a statement accompanying the planning application says: "Unfortunately, we now face energy costs that have gone up fourfold and we face crippling losses.

"One part of the solution is to install PV on the west and east elevations to generate 25 to 30 per cent of our power across a year."

The pub employs 15 people and supports two Ukrainian refugees, while a cafe hosts 28 clubs and societies.

Planners at the Deane House will consider the planning application in due course.