Hockley Eviction Alert
22nd Oct 1999
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Yesterday Countryside Properties of Countryside Home, The Drive, Brentwood, Essex CM13 3AT (Tel: 01277 260000, Fax: 01277 690690) gained a possession order for the site occupied by protestors at Hockley. Campaigners plan to appeal. There is a seven day stay of execution, but ultimately an eviction could be likely in the next few weeks.
Further details of campaign:
The threatened site, situated between two Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation: the ancient woods of Plumberow and Beckney, contains many species of wildlife including slow worms and lizards and highly endangered protected wildlife such as bats and great crested newts.
In recent weeks, 10 000 of the remaining national population of 30 000 Great Crested Newts were destroyed during a £2,000,000 translocation by a housing developer in Peterborough.
Protestors have pointed out that according to their research, ironically the developers COUNTRYSIDE RESIDENTIAL (North Thames Ltd), are corporate sponsors of the Essex Wildife Trust, as are local planning authority, Rochford District Council.
After over a decade of local people campaigning to save the land, eco-protest erupted in July of this year (26th) when local teenagers started to camp out on the land to save the wildlife from Countryside Residential and Rochford District Council.
Plans (F0108/98/ROC) to build new houses for private ownership at Etheldore/Wood Avenue gained approval from Rochford District Council this summer despite claims of errors in the planning documents. The site being defended was originally part of ancient Beckney Wood and after being cleared about 60 years ago remained in the Green Belt until the last Local Plan. Previous local plans zoned the wildlife rich area for public recreational use.
It was allocated for housing in the 1986 Rochford Local Plan after previously being Green Belt. The 12 acre development would include 66 houses, garages, access roads, a sewage pumping station and attenuation area. The developers are Countryside Residential (North Thames Ltd), based in Brentwood.
Info: Campaign Against Silly Houses 01702 206353 (office) 0831 717815 (site mobile) Hockley Residents Against Development 01702 206181/201914