Loan to progress North Bexhill Access Road scheme proposed

Proposed route of North Bexhill Access Road
Proposed route of North Bexhill Access Road

A £200,000 loan to progress plans for the North Bexhill Access Road could be approved by East Sussex County Council next week.

The 2.4km single carriageway would connect the A259 Ninfield Road northwest of Sidley with the soon to open Hastings to Bexhill Link Road.

SeaChange Sussex is driving the scheme, in partnership with East Sussex County Council and Rother District Council, as a way of easing congestion and opening up development land to the north-east of Bexhill.

A planning application is due to be submitted this autumn for the new route.

The South East Local Enterprise Partnership’s Growth Deal allocated £5m towards the North Bexhill Access Road project, but this money can only be released when SeaChange has submitted a business case to prove that the proposals represent good value for money. This is due to be completed by the end of 2015.

Next week Keith Glazier, East Sussex County Council’s leader and lead member for strategic management and economic development, will be asked to agree a £200,000 loan to SeaChange.

This would go to development costs already incurred on the scheme design and project management, as well as for future costs progressing the scheme through the planning process.

A report due to go to the lead member on Tuesday explains how the new road has been identified as ‘integral’ to growth plans in the A21/A259 Bexhill/Hastings ‘economic growth corridor’.

It says: “SeaChange Sussex is a key delivery partner for the county council in achieving its ambitions for driving economic growth in the county.

“The loan of £200,000 will contribute towards SeaChange Sussex taking their proposals for the North Bexhill Access Road through to the end of the planning process and submission of a business case to the SE LEP.”

SeaChange, which is a not-for-profit economic development and regeneration company working on projects with the county council and other authorities, held a public exhibition in June with around 500 members of the public attending.

According to information at the exhibition the route has been draw up to avoid ancient woodland, hedgerows, homes, listing buildings, and Combe Haven Stream.

The proposed road would include two bridges, one over Watermill Line, and another over Combe Haven.

Bovis Homes is looking to build more than 1,000 homes to the north-east of Bexhill, and Rother District Council’s Cabinet agreed to name the new development ‘Worsham’ at a meeting on Monday.

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