Call for govt to stop link road development

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Historian Nick Austin is appealing for government intervention to stop the Bexhill Hastings link road.

He has written to Heritage Minister Ed Vaizey urging him to “do the right thing” and avoid further damage to what he believes is the site of the most important event in Britain’s history.

Nick’s claim that the Battle of Hastings took place in the Combe Haven Valley appears backed by new findings from Crowhurst resident Martin White. He has pieced together information pointing to a possible burghal hidage fort at Upper Wilting Farm on the hill overlooking the valley. He suggests the fort was built in the time of King Alfred The Great as part of coastal defence against repeated Viking attack and would have predated William’s arrival by 150 years but could be where having landed at Combe Haven he set up camp to prepare to fight. Burghal hidage forts are thought to be usually built over important Roman sites. Martin highlighted ESCC bulldozers moving in and removing important historical evidence and said: “I am concerned if it is an important site then it should be protected.”

Nick has used this in his appeal to the Minister to intervene in the development he believes was given the go-ahead following lack of thorough site investigation and decision during public inquiries in 1996 and 2009 there was no significant archeology.

He told the Observer this week: “If the inspector had known the truth this road would never have been chosen. The public inquiry process has been abused. You cannot have road builders writing over history for their own benefit. They are getting authority for the road from what they said in the past when what they said in the past was wrong. There is only one last step you can take - the government has to intervene.”

He urged Mr Vaizey: “This is a global international heritage story because this is about our most important battlefield and probably the most important in European and possibly world history. I trust you will now look into this and do the right thing.”