Evening Echo
February 8, 2006

Stand-off over Bling fence

ECO-WARRIORS were involved in a stand-off with council workers who tried to dismantle a fence surrounding Camp Bling - the site of a proposed road widening scheme.

Three vans of council workers pulled up at the illegal camp at the burial site of a Saxon King in Prittlewell and started to dismantle metal fencing at about 9.30am yesterday. Protesters who live on the site confronted the workers and asked them to leave the fence alone, while the officers argued that they needed the fence for another site.

A police transporter van turned up at the scene to versee the dispute which remained peaceful.

The situation was resolved when council officers backed down and drove away, leaving the fence behind.

Ant Bailey, one of the protesters who lives at the site, said: "They said they had been ordered to remove it by their bosses and didn't really want to do it anyway and they left."

There are about 15 protesters living at Camp Bling named after they mystery Saxon King whose remains and posessions were found at the site.

The remains hasve now been moved to a museum in London and the council plans to widen Priory Crescent which runs adjacent to the camp.

More than 100 mature trees would be chopped down by widening the bottleneck road from two lanes to four.

The protesters say the site is sacred and there may be other tombs nearby.

Southend Council leader Anna Waite said: "We were advised by the police and others it would be sensible thing to do if we took down the fence around the site.

"We did not want to cause a major problem which could have led to a breach of the peace so decided it would be sensible to desist."

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