PYLONS campaigner Rosalind Craven is to make one final stand in her David-and-Goliath battle against National Grid - at the Court of Appeal in London.

The 61-year-old widow has been granted a preliminary hearing as she seeks to overturn a High Court decision to allow the company to build three pylons on her land at Home Farm, Huby, near Easingwold.

On April 30, she will travel down to the Royal Courts of Justice in The Strand, where she will attempt to persuade a judge to grant her leave to appeal. "You only get 20 minutes," said Mrs Craven, who does not yet know if she will get a barrister to speak on her behalf in court.

The defiant campaigner plans to argue that she did not get a fair hearing last December during a two-day case at the High Court in Leeds.

She also intends putting forward complex arguments that National Grid's application to the Government in 1991 to build a power line across the Vale of York was defective, and also that wayleave hearings in 1994 to consider access to land were defective.

She admits that the case represents her last chance of resisting the electricity giant, which has built the pylons on her land since winning the case last December.

The hearing also has major financial implications for Mrs Craven, who was left facing "ruinous" costs running into tens of thousands of pounds at the end of December's hearing.

The exact amount she must pay will be determined by a district judge at a later date, but has been put on hold until any chance of appeal is over.

Mrs Craven said National Grid had written to the courts requesting permission to attend the hearing but this had not been granted. The hearing should therefore not increase her costs by having to meet the company's legal fees.

However, she feared her attempt to press on with her appeal might reduce any remaining possibility of the company voluntarily waiving some of her costs. "It's a gamble," she said.

A National Grid spokesman said the hearing was a matter for Mrs Craven and the courts, and it would not therefore want to comment.

Updated: 11:02 Wednesday, April 16, 2003