CAMPIAGNERS have set up a community action group to oppose a 118 acre solar farm on rural land in Newport.

The solar farm on agricultural land at Fairwater Farm in Michaelston-y-Fedw will be adjacent to Began Road near the M4 and will include 69,840 solar panels of 260KW. Newport council's planning committee are likely to make a decision on the application in September.

EEW Eco Energy World, a renewable energy company, are the developers of the project who are proposing a 18.16MW ground mounted photovoltaic plant on the site. Each solar panel will be 1650mm by 992mm with a maximum height of 2.68m when installed.

Plans include the construction of 18 transformers, a switchroom, installation of a 2.4m high security fence and CCTV cameras.

The plant would be connected to the St Mellons primary sub-station and if planning approval is granted the developer says construction work will take 16 weeks.

More than 60 objections for residents nearby have been put forward and resident of Michaelston-Y-Fedw have set up their own campaign group, Keep Michaelston-y-Fedw Rural, to oppose the plans.

Gordon Heecp, treasurer of Keep Michaelston-y-Fedw Rural, said: "We are fighting with two local authorities as part of the plan as the site encroaches a little into Cardiff. It's on prime agricultural land - there are plenty of brownfield sites which could be used.

"Nobody wants it around here. Our job is to ensure it stays that way. We aren't against renewable energy but this area has already had its fair share with a solar farm at Clearwell Farm as well as a wind turbines."

He added: "Our main objection is the impact of this on the beautiful landscape. The community don't really want it here. There's going to be a nine ft fence with infrared cameras - it's going to be like a small gorilla compound."

The Gwent Levels which is a Landscape of Outstanding Historic Interest is located 2km from the site and within 4km there are four registered historic parks and gardens, the closest of which is 500 metres away at Cefn Mably.

The campaign group are also opposed to a planning application by Phoenix Capital R-Energy Ltd has also been submitted to Newport council for a 27.9 acre solar farm adjacent to Coal Pit Lane in Castleton. The landowner of both sites is Sir Stanley Thomas, who is considered one of Wales’ most successful businessman.