Major road developers ‘pulling wool over people’s eyes’

The proposed route of the North Bexhill Access Road
The proposed route of the North Bexhill Access Road
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Campaigners have condemned the developers behind the proposed North Bexhill Access Road after withdrawing their application over air quality concerns.

Sea Change Sussex said it asked Rother District Council to delay the decision to allow more time for additional documents to be seen by the public.

The Combe Haven Defenders successfully challenged another Sea Change road development in Hastings – the Queensway Gateway Road – over air pollution.

The person who brought the issue to the district council’s attention is also the campaigner’s spokesman, Andrea Needham.

“It is staggering that after the Queensway Gateway fiasco, Sea Change still thinks they can get away with pulling the wool over people’s eyes in terms of air pollution,” she said.

“You cannot have a road carrying over 12,000 vehicles a day through sensitive habitats and pretend that vehicle emissions will not have a serious impact on the environment.

“Whether this omission is deliberate or simply demonstrates incompetence, Rother District Council should ensure that Sea Change provides all the necessary information before allowing this application to go ahead again.

“In the meantime, we encourage people to continue to make objections to this destructive and polluting project.”

Sea Change had provided information about the impact of vehicle emissions on people’s homes but had failed to provide such information relating to the impact on the ecology of the area.

In particular, they had failed to consider the impact of emissions on ancient woodland, some of which will be only three metres from the proposed road.

Sea Change director John Shaw asked for the planning application be withdrawn in order to allow the company time to review the issue in a letter on December 8.

Last February, Hastings Borough Council (HBC) granted planning permission for Sea Change’s Queensway Gateway Road.

It was later quashed by the High Court after a resident brought a legal challenge which showed that the road would breach air pollution limits.

The application will be reheard by HBC tomorrow (Tuesday, December 15).

Two major Bexhill planning applications withdrawn

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