Yellow Advertiser
October 10, 2001


Priory Park saved following YA campaign

By Rob Mellett
THE YA has won the campaign to save Priory Park from a destructive road widening scheme.

Southend Council leader Charles Latham announced the dramatic U-turn at a hastily convened press conference last Friday.

Under the new proposals a dual carriageway will be built on the outside edge of the park and commercial land to the north of Priory Crescent will be bought up. Councillor Roger Weaver, cabinet member for transport, said: "We have narrowed ten options down to five and ruled out building an underpass, flyover or gyratory system. There is no option to do nothing because the council will not achieve further investment.

"We welcome public comment on the new scheme."

However, under any new proposals, many trees in the park still face the axe. Priory Park Preservation Society and Friends of the Earth insist this is unacceptable.

We've won the park battle

But despite the huge public outcry to the original scheme, Conservative Eastwood Park councillor, Mr Weaver, denied that the 18,000 petitions received by the YA, Parklife and the Preservation Society led the council to back track on its plans.

He said: "The park has not been saved by any particular newspaper or pressure group, because the petitions are not representative of everyone in this town. People as far away as London and Kent have had petitions pushed under their noses and haven't checked all the facts before signing."

Friends of the Earth (FOE) have withdrawn from the Local Transport Partnership Forum in a storm of protest following Mr Latham's statement to petitioners claiming FOE had never objected to park road plans.

Jon Fuller, FOE transport spokesman, said: "We have informed Local Government MP Stephen Byers, the Government ombudsman and the eastern region Government office that this council is intent on misleading the public."

  • The council also confirmed proposals to demolish two derelict homes at the junction of Cuckoo Corner and Priory Crescent. A new gateway to the park will be created to commemorate the Queen's golden jubilee in 2002.
    Back to News Page
    Back to Home Page