Yellow Advertiser
June 6, 2001

Huge response to YA's Save The Park campaign



ANGRY: Protesters Catherine Ford and Chris Ford
HUNDREDS of people have put their names to the YA campaign to save Priory Park from being carved up for a dual carriageway.

Concerned residents bombarded the YA offices with phone calls and sackfuls of mail following the paper's report into town hall plans to bulldoze trees in Priory Park to make way for a road widening scheme.

The scheme - to ease traffic congestion by linking Eastern Avenue with Prince Avenue - would mean mature trees falling under the axe. Now the YA needs your completed coupons to save the park.

Angry father-of-three, Chris Ford, 49, of Southchurch, said: "There is no way any part of that park should be destroyed."

Former country ranger, Mr Ford said: "The Horse Chestnut trees provide nest areas for squirrels, tawny owls, kestrels, rooks and an endless array of wildlife. South Weald, Brentwood, is the nearest place where mature parkland trees of this calibre are visible."

Pet store owner Joanne Wheatley, 29, has been running her own anti-road campaign for two months.

The married mum-of-two, said: "Nobody I've met wants Priory Park touched. I played there as a child, my children now play there and I want their grandchildren to enjoy it when they grow up."

A Southend Council spokesperson said a public consultation will be held when plans are drawn up to build the road.

She said: "No final plans have been drawn up. The council has talked with the Charity Commission, English Nature and our leisure services department.

"If the council is forced to look at using the park, it would be a slither."

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