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Rail bosses postpone talks over natural beauty 'blight'

Network Rail has delayed a series of public exhibitions where it planned to reveal how it will improve the look of electrification gantries at the so-called "Goring Gap" an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Oxfordshire.

Local people say they have "ruined the local area" and are demanding they are replaced.

The gantries carry electric wires to power a new fleet of Hitachi trains with bullet style technology.

Public exhibitions were due to start later this month.

The Government owned company say they want to work with the local community to minimise the impact but more design work is needed and it is better to consult when a full range of options are available.

The company say the £5.7 billion project will revolutionise travel with faster journeys and cleaner and greener electric trains.

Fury over plans to sell off part of Sussex Downs

Campaigners have been protesting in Brighton against the proposed sale of two historic downland sites, four miles from its borders.

The land at Plumpton Hill and Poynings is among the 12,500 acres retained for the city through one of its founding fathers - Sir Herbert Carden - more than 100 years ago.

He hoped to preserve and protect the Sussex Downs for the benefit of its residents. But now the city wants to sell off some of that land in the hope of raising more than £1 million to help restore nearby Stanmer Park.

Andy Dickenson reports.


Charity and bakery lead charge to tackle £13billion 'food waste mountain'

An incredible £13 billion of edible food is being thrown away every year.

That's the staggering claim experts made after it was revealed our efforts to tackle food waste have stalled.

But a number of projects in Brighton are hoping to buck that trend. Andy Dickenson reports and speaks to Beth Parry of Fare Share, and Kitty Newbury from the Angel Food Bakery.

Rescue teams in action as river floods roads

The streets of Newhaven in East Sussex were flooded after a tidal surge caused the river to burst its banks. Cars were partly submerged but no houses were flooded and there were no casualties. Police and fire officers, coastguards, the highways and environment agency were involved in the response.

Truck pushed out of flood water Credit: Eddie Mitchell
Cars submerged in flash flood Credit: Eddie Mitchell
Multi agency operation Credit: Eddie Mitchell

All flood warnings are due to be removed for the South-East. The Thames Barrier is set to close again today as a precautionary measure. Snow is expected in Kent between 8 and 10 tomorrow morning


Outbreak of bird flu at swannery in Dorset

Bird flu has returned to the historic Abbotsbury Swannery in Dorset tonight. The outbreak has been detected in nine mute swans - and it is feared that more could now be at risk.

The popular tourist attraction near Weymouth is currently closed to the public for the winter season. But bosses say every precaution is being taken to protect staff and prevent further spread.

The current strain of avian flu is a low risk to public health - but a wider outbreak could be catastrophic for poultry farmers across the South. Rachel Hepworth reports.

The interviewees are John Houston from the Abbotsbury Swannery; Ruth Wyatt, a Poultry farmer; and Nigel Gibbens the UK's Chief Veterinary Officer.

Bin collection dates to change in Reading

Collection dates will change Credit: ITV

Household refuse collections for people living in the Reading area are due to change next month. The Borough Council is to reorganise bin collection days for most of the 68,500 residents. The local authority wants to boost recycling rates and reduce the amount of landfill.

Turkeybergs: the unwelcome festive leftover

Festive dinners are having a negative impact on the South East's sewage network.

It's led to Southern Water, one of the region's biggest utility companies, to issue a plea to keep drains fat-free. The company warns that tipping fat, oil and grease down the sink causes problems as it cools into a hard concrete-like substance that can block drains and pipes.

At this time of year, basted birds and trimmings lead to what's been dubbed turkeybergs - a seasonal twist on the fatbergs blocking the south east's sewers.

Tony Green's been down beneath our town centre streets for a look at what's going wrong:

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