Parklife Newsflash-occupying the trees

Priory Park white elephant
25.03.2004

A team of Parklife climbers this morning began a tree occupation at the site of the proposed F5 road scheme, planned for the A1159 Priory Crescent north, Southend on Sea, Essex.

Parklife occupy site of F5 'white elephant' in further show of peaceful defiance.

A team of climbers from the 'Save Priory Park' action group Parklife scaled trees this morning, in a further show of peaceful defiance, against proposals to press ahead with controversial plan F5 to dual the A1159, Priory Crescent, Southend on Sea, Essex.

The protest is the latest in a long line of demonstrations which have taken place over the past three years, since the proposals for the road scheme first became widespread public knowledge across the town.

Campaigners oppose the latest plan put forward by Southend Borough Council, to dual the 870 metre stretch of carriageway between Cuckoo Corner and Aldi's Supermarket, due to the impacts it will have upon Priory Park and the surrounding area. These include the destruction of 113 trees and hard surfacing of 3000m2 of public open space, including the burial chamber of the recently discovered Anglo Saxon 'Prince of Prittlewell.'

Parklife campaigner Shaun Qureshi said, ‘The burial site on the route of the approach to the new railway bridge deck is now acknowledged as being of international significance. This is yet another reason for the road to be scrapped by Alistair Darling and Priory Park to be left alone. Not one inch of our park should be touched, if the road goes ahead then the peace and tranquillity of this historic place will be destroyed forever.’

He continued, ‘We have repeatedly voiced the continued massive opposition of local people to the new road. Today by occupying part of the threatened route, in a further act of defiance against the local authority, we are reaffirming our commitment to continue with this campaign until the very end. As long as the trees still stand we will take further action to ensure that the F5 ‘white elephant’ is not parked here. The burial site of the 'Prince of Prittlewell' should now become the 'elephants graveyard.’

e-mail priory_parklife@yahoo.co.uk for details.