RESIDENTS living next to a field earmarked for development as a site for renewable energy say they are outraged at the multi-million pound plans.

A total of 14,000 solar panels could be built on a 13.8-acre site at Hazel Farm, Langstone, costing £6.25 million to install, we revealed on Saturday. A second solar farm is planned for land at Michaelstone-y-Fedw.

Plans for the Langstone scheme by Cornwall-based Silicon Vineyard Limited were submitted to Newport council and it is thought both sites could have the capability to power more than 1,000 Newport homes.

But Diane Collins, 52, whose house overlooks the proposed Langstone site, said her family love their barn conversion's 'fabulous views' of the countryside and she fears they will be ruined by the large-scale scheme.

She said: "We chose this location specifically because it's a beautiful part of Wales. For us to move in December and find out about this now is absolutely devastating. You move to the country to have a stress-free life."

Another resident Catherine Coulthard, 39, said since moving to Langstone she has studied the area and its historical importance.

"There have been dwellings here since Roman times and when they excavated while building the M4 they found castle remains extend into that field. It's an important ancient location," she said.

Newport was identified as a potential pilot area by the Assembly Government for solar installations, because of the local industry's interest in having 'green' skills.

Resident Jane Lewis, 60, said if the city has to be used, she believes other sites would be more viable.

With husband Malcolm, 67, the couple decided to retire in Langstone.

"We are in favour of things which are more green but let's think sensibly and use land in Newport which already has industrial areas. It's country living here, that's the whole idea," she said.

A public consultation meeting on the plans takes place on Thursday, at Langstone village hall, at 7pm, while an exhibition will be at Michaelstone-y-Fedw village hall on the same day between 3pm and 8pm.