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Battle to Block Southend Bypass (Essex)

protestors fight relief road through Rochford green belt

A campaign to stop a multi-million pound relief road through Rochford green belt was stepped up this weekend. Parish councils in the district are calling on local people to have their say over Government plans for a Southend bypass. The East of England RegionalAssembly, the Government Agency investigating the scheme, will be in public consultation on December 8.

Councillor Vic Leach, chair of Hawkwell Parish Council, said it is crucial local people take the opportunity to have a say. He added: "Once they lay down a four lane highway that's it. It's there and no one's going to get rid of it. People have got to challenge these proposals as vigorously as they can."

Public meetings are to be lined up for mid-December, but Mr Leach stressed the most effective way for people to challenge the proposals was to write to their parish councils. All objections will then be forwarded on.

County planners hope they can reduce congestion out of Southend by building a multi-million pound route through the heart of the Crouch Valley. The threatened area is a picturesque stretch of farmland and countryside which runs north opf Hockley and passes the villages of Canewdon and South Fambridge. A spokesman for the East of England Regional Assembly described a Southend relief road as being of 'significant strategic importance to secure the regeneration of the area'.

- Basildon Yellow Advertiser (11 November 2004)

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