Evening Echo
April 1, 2004

Site visit ends Priory inquiry

A SITE visit ended the public inquiry which has been held into the controversial proposal to widen Priory Crescent in Southend.

After a two-week break, the inquiry resumed on Tuesday.

It ended at lunchtime yesterdat after the inspector, Allan Blackley, and other inquiry officials returned from the area under consideration.

Until the visit took place, all the official proceedings had been conducted in Southend's council chamber.

The plan would shave the northern edge off Priory Park and see most of the Saxon king's burial ground disappear under a new road.

But the inquiry heard the graveyard could be "archaeologically exhausted" in six to eight weeks if an expert's advice was followed.

Agreement was still to be reached on what size mature trees would replace the 147 that could be lost in the scheme.

The Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, will make a decision on whether the plans should go ahead after reading Mr Blackley's report.

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