King fights golf course plan near home

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TOM KING, the former defence secretary, has become embroiled in a battle in his own back yard following attempts by a local racehorse breeder to transform his land into a golf course, writes Andrew Gliniecki.

Mr King is being represented at a planning inquiry being held at Chippenham, Wilts, close to his country home.

The inquiry centres on an application by Harry Chisman, 54, who wants to build a 150 acre (60 hectare) 1.5m golf course on land now occupied by a stud farm at Lucknam Park.

Mr King is worried that water abstraction required for the upkeep of greens on the proposed course would dry up springs running on across his land.

The seven-day inquiry is due to finish today, but the Department of the Environment inspector is not expected to reach a decision for another two months.