Page last updated at 18:10 GMT, Monday, 15 March 2010

'Camp Cuckoo' protesters in Essex face legal action

Camp Cuckoo
Campaigners have set up Camp Cuckoo near the site of Camp Bling

Legal action has been started to try to evict "Camp Cuckoo" campaigners who are fighting a road scheme in Essex.

Protesters are camped on Priory Crescent, Southend, opposing a £5m Cuckoo Corner road improvement scheme on the burial site of a Saxon King.

Southend Borough Council said court papers had been served on protesters.

The king has been dubbed the "King of Bling" after archaeologists found gold at the 8th Century site and an earlier protest camp was named after him.

Protesters have put up six tents at Cuckoo Corner roundabout - at the opposite end of Priory Crescent where the previous camp, dubbed "Camp Bling", was set up five years ago.

'Significant disruption'

The council said the Cuckoo Corner scheme aimed to improve the flow of traffic at one of the town's worst bottlenecks.

Lorraine Butler, interim head of enterprise, said: "The aim of the legal proceedings is to take back possession of the land so we can begin work.

"The protesters have no right to be there and their actions have already caused significant disruption.

"Peaceful protest is everybody's right in a democratic society but any action that hinders the progress of the approved scheme is not acceptable.

"Their actions have left us with no alternative but to resort to legal proceedings to ensure we can progress with the scheme."

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