VILLAGERS are celebrating after winning their battle with the company building a huge gas pipeline through large parts of Herefordshire.

National Grid has announced that it will build its vital gas pressure station in Peterstow on a site chosen by local residents.

Engineers from National Grid had identified another site in the village, but locals complained its higher location would ruin the landscape and, crucially, councillors agreed.

National Grid's preferred option, known as site A, was refused planning permission but the company launched an appeal.

Caroline Davidson, for National Grid, said the appeal had now been dropped and confirmed work on the pressure reduction installation would start at a nearby location called site D.

"While National Grid had every confidence in the site A appeal process, it became evident that the time to arrive at an appeal decision would result in significant delays to our construction programme," she said.

Peterstow resident Patrick Gething-Lewis said villagers were happy they had been listened to. Site D's lower position would limit the physical impact of the station in a beautiful part of the county.

"We have always said that, although we would rather it did not have to happen, we appreciate the national importance and, if it has to go somewhere, site D would be the preferred location," he said.

"We appreciate this option will be more expensive for the National Grid but they will not have to live next to it for the next 30 or so years."

The compressor station will play a crucial part in the overall plan to transport gas from South Wales to Gloucestershire.

It will control the flow of gas as it passes through the 196km steel pipeline to Tirley before the gas is redistributed throughout many parts of the UK.

Engineers started building the pipeline in South Wales in 2006 and the giant yellow cylinders first appeared in Herefordshire earlier this year.

National Grid said that once the individual pipelines are in place they will be buried underground, returning the countryside to its natural beauty.