Page last updated at 13:07 GMT, Tuesday, 23 February 2010

'King of Bling' protest over Essex road scheme resumes

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The protestors say trees are at risk - a claim refuted by the local council

"Camp Bling" campaigners in Southend-on-Sea, Essex have resumed their battle against a road scheme.

Protesters camped for five years on Priory Crescent opposing a £22m road-widening scheme on the burial site of Britain's earliest-known Saxon King.

He was dubbed the "King of Bling" after archaeologists found gold and treasure at the 8th Century site.

The Borough Council said it agreed this new scheme last year but people at the new camp said it had broken a promise.

Protestors have set up six tents at Cuckoo Corner roundabout at the opposite end of Priory Crescent to where the previous camp was.

'Absolute rubbish'

Shaun Qureshi, from the Save Priory Park campaign, said: "It seems like it's open season on Priory Crescent."

"The council made a public pledge last summer that if Camp Bling would pack up, they wouldn't widen the crescent.

"They said this was not going to happen. Now it's going to happen. This was a promise to the people."

Deputy Leader, conservative councillor John Lamb told BBC Essex: "That's a load of nonsense. Absolute rubbish.

"All we are doing is all we said we'd be doing; improve the roundabout junction at Cuckoo Corner where we've bought two houses so we can make it slightly wider.

"It's not going into Priory Crescent."

The £5m road scheme is further down from the Saxon King burial site.

The road will be expanded from two lanes to three at Cuckoo Corner roundabout.

The roadworks are due to start in June and 16 trees will have to be removed but 32 others will be planted.



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SEE ALSO
'King of Bling' battle site moves
30 Apr 09 |  Essex
The battle for the 'King of Bling'
06 Feb 06 |  Essex

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