Battle to save wood spreads to sewers

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The Independent Online
The fight to save Naburn Woods has gone underground. Campaigners, who will this week face bailiffs on 70 acres just south of York, have taken to the sewers in their efforts to prevent the wooded estate, once the site of the Naburn mental hospital, from being turned into a "village" of factory shops selling discounted goods.

As tree-houses were being spliced together, siege provisions were also being stowed underground in old tunnels. "This time we've got a real chance of winning ... it'll be very difficult and very expensive to get us out," one protester said.

A spokesman for the National Health Service Executive's Northern and Yorkshire region said:"Our sole intent in this matter is to realise as much revenue as we can for the public purse and the NHS."

But York City Council, the city's Labour MP Hugh Bayley, its Chamber of Commerce and many residents are opposed to the development.

Last Friday Mr Bayley wrote to the chief executive of the American developer BAA Mc-Arthur Glenn demanding a meeting. "We must try to persuade the developers that their plans are not wanted by York," Mr Bayley said.