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Builders offer to work on soldier's house for free
A maimed soldier involved in a battle with council bosses over plans to build a specially-adapted bungalow has been inundated with offers to do the work for free.
Carpenters, builders, tilers and plasterers have volunteered to help Royal Marine Joe Townsend, 20, build the single-storey property on his grandfather's land.
The soldier has been involved in a stand-off with Wealden District Council after they rejected plans to build the home on the grounds they were 'intrusive'.
The decision prompted tens of thousands of people to rally to Mr Townsend's cause, calling on the authority to back down.
Many people said he deserved the property after losing both legs, one completely and one to the knee, after stepping on a mine in February last year while serving in Afghanistan.
The Tory-controlled council shifted its stance as Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Conservative leader David Cameron urged the authority to reconsider its decision.
Mr Brown intervened after the case was taken up by the Noel's HQ programme on Sky1, telling the Noel Edmonds-hosted show that the council 'must do the right thing immediately and reconsider this case'.
The council's position appeared to soften after it announced it had agreed in principle proposals for a more 'supportable' application following a meeting with Mr Townsend's family.
A new application has been submitted and is expected to be formally approved at a planning committee meeting next month.
Mr Townsend's grandfather David Carter said today: "So many people have come forward offering their help."
Mr Carter, 70, of Pevensey, near Eastbourne, added: "We have got a whole load of tradesmen offering to work for free on it, including plasterers, tilers and builders. All of them have come forward wanting to do their bit."
More than 250,000 people have become members of a group on the social networking website Facebook titled 'Support for Joe to get his bungalow'.
And thousands more signed a petition on the 10 Downing Street website.
Mr Carter said his grandson was 'over the moon' by the public reaction, adding: "He is already on the internet looking for tiles and other things to go in the home. It's keeping him going."