A little local trouble

A weekly round-up of rural rows

A village in West Lothian is fighting off a proposed housing development which could double its size. Locals are particularly upset as it will involve felling a line of beech trees, and may disturb the village's reed- bed sewage system. The development is proposed by a local landowning family, the Russells. Stuart Russell, an Edinburgh businessman, said: "Something should be done to a fairly desperate village with one shop, one pub and nothing else."

In north Yorkshire campaigners are opposing a proposed chain of giant pylons. The line would run from Teesside to near York, and has provisional approval from the Government. Revolt (Rural England Versus Overhead Line Transmissions) wants objectors to bombard Michael Heseltine, President of the Board of Trade, with anti-pylon postcards. PowerGen supports the campaign, saying there are no economic or technical arguments in favour of the line.

Farmers on Dartmoor are concerned about low-flying aircraft frightening their animals. John Hockridge, a farmer from Sourton, said some of his sheep had been extremely scared by military aircraft flying low over their shed: "They almost jumped out of their pens." A meeting has been arranged for farmers to put their views to the Ministry of Defence.

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