Hundreds turn out for new road exhibition

Around 500 people turned out to a public exhibition last Thursday (June 25) to view proposals for a new road as part of a major development of north east Bexhill.

The North Bexhill Access Road would connect the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road with the A269 Ninfield Road, near Freezeland Lane.

SeaChange Sussex is behind the scheme, in partnership with Rother District Council and East Sussex County Council. It claims the road will help to ease congestion in the area by diverting traffic travelling east and west, as well as reducing journey times for people travelling between Bexhill and Hastings.

Speaking at the exhibition at Bexhill College, a spokesman told the Observer: “The design team looked at the area and took a note of the environmental factors to avoid, in particular ancient woodland, woodland, hedgerows, listed buildings, other dwellings and the stream.”

The scheme includes two bridges – one to cross the environmentally sensitive Combe Haven, the other to cross over Watermill Lane to avoid increase in local traffic.

SeaChange also says the plans include ‘significant buffers’ to protect ancient woodland ‘where possible’.

The road would incorporate new footpaths and cycle ways, with existing public right of ways preserved.

Extra hedgerows and trees are proposed in an attempt to screen the new road from view.

An ecological survey is currently being carried out on the site and there are signs of badgers and great crested newts in the region.

However, the spokesman said: “The team will take measures to make sure these are not affected.”

A planning application for the new road is expected to be submitted later this month or in August.

Speaking after the event, the spokesman for SeaChange said: “It was really useful in enabling us to hear a broad range of views.

“Many people were strongly in favour of the proposed road and the traffic benefits it would have in terms of reducing congestion in Sidley and providing a better route to travel west to east.

“Some were in favour of the job creation benefits as it would open up access to new business land.

“Quite a number raised concerns about the amount of new housing shown in the Rother Local Plan – although it was not the main purpose of exhibition to discuss the Rother housing allocation.

“We also had quite a few questions about the timescales for developing the potential road and how wildlife would be protected if it went ahead.”

The proposals for the North Bexhill Access Road follows the proposals unveiled by Bovis Homes earlier this month for a major new development in north east Bexhill.

The developer plans to build 1,050 homes on land off Wrestwood Road, plus a primary school, commercial and retail units.

Following a public consultation, a planning application is expected to be submitted shortly.

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