A little girl of 10 has written to the Queen asking her to try to stop her friends and neighbours from being evicted from their homes. Lily Howard lives in a cottage owned by the Crown Estate.
The estate has decided to sell 45 properties near Taunton and Dunster and put the money in more profitable urban investments.
Now twenty-eight families who rent their homes from the Crown are considering legal action after being given notice to quit.
The Crown Estate - whose income goes to the Treasury - say they can buy their cottages and smallholdings near Taunton or move out. The tenants say they've been treated despicably by a landlord only interested in profit.
Lily's letter reads: "My next door neighbour keeps coming round and crying. I am getting very very scared about this and hate what is happening so much. I find this mean. I have lived in my home for all my life and don't want to move. I love where I live, please tell the Crown Estate to stop, please.
Yours sincerely, Lily Howard, aged ten."
A statement from the Crown Estate says -
– Crown Estate spokesperson
We have gone well beyond the statutory two month notice periods for market rented properties such these, we have also asked that tenants continue to talk to us and made clear that if there are cases of particular hardship, we are willing to be flexible in our approach.
You can watch our Somerset Correspondent David Woodland's full report below: