Anti-roads protester dies in camp blaze

Grant Prior 13 years ago
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An environmental campaigner has died during a fire at a protest camp in Scotland.

Makeshift homes at the site in Bilston Glen, Midlothian, caught fire yesterday resulting in the death of a man in his 20s. A woman is also being treated in hospital for burns.

The victims were part of the camp which has been based there since 2002 in a bid to stop plans for the proposed A701 bypass.

Protesters fear the plans by Midlothian Council would lead to the destruction of the Bilston Glen, which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

In September 2008, the council confirmed that the A701 scheme remained as a “safeguarded roadline”, which had planning consent through Scottish ministers and the Midlothian Local Plan.

The scheme would comprise a road realignment together with new roundabouts and junction arrangements.

The area around the camp, which has several makeshift homes, has been cordoned with police erecting an exclusion zone of 500 yards (457m).

Lothian and Borders Police said at this stage there was nothing to indicate the man’s death was suspicious.

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