Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Man dies in fire at Bilston Glen protest camp

Bilston glen camp
Image caption Environmentalists are camping in protest at the proposed construction of a bypass in Midlothian

A man has died in a fire at a protest camp in Midlothian.

The blaze broke out at Bilston Glen, where environmentalists are camping in protest at the proposed construction of a bypass, at about 0330 GMT.

Lothian and Borders Police said the dead man was in his 20s. A woman is also being treated in hospital.

It is understood the man who died and the injured woman were part of the camp which has been based there since 2002. An inquiry into the cause has begun.

The protest group objects to the proposed A701 bypass.

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

Midlothian Council said it had confirmed in November 2005 that there was no funding in place for the remainder of the A701 upgrade scheme.

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 injured women has been taken to St John's Hospital in Livingston which has a specialist burns unit.

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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