Major Bexhill road back on the agenda

People against the North Bexhill Access Road (PANBAR). SUS-150110-121101001
People against the North Bexhill Access Road (PANBAR). SUS-150110-121101001

A major road designed to open up land for development is back on the council’s planning committee agenda after it was withdrawn last month.

The North Bexhill Access Road (NBAR) was supposed to be discussed by Rother District Council on December 10, but it was pulled due to issues over air quality.

It will now be considered at the planning meeting on Thursday, January 21, with officers recommending its approval.

When the proposal was withdrawn, a spokesman for the developers, Sea Change Sussex, said: “We submitted some further details relating to our planning application for the North Bexhill Access Road on request of Rother District Council.

“Because we’re mindful that this could be regarded as additional information to our application, and to allow the public time to consider it, we’ve asked Rother District Council if the date the planning application will be considered could be postponed.”

The road has been a source of controversy as residents set up an action group against it and 250 people have signed a petition opposing the proposal.

It is part of the council’s local plan and seems destined to succeed with no objections from most of the consulted parties.

But Catsfield Parish Council, the 93 individual responses, the 50 people who signed the petition and the residents who formed People Against the North Bexhill Access Road are all against it.

One of the main criticisms of Sea Change has been the publicity of the road, with many claiming the council want to keep it a secret.

Gillian Murton, of Watermill Lane, spoke to businesses in Sidley and only two of them knew about the proposal.

She is against the plans to cut off her road as it will damage links between Sidley and Catsfield.

The developers have posted public notices and held a six-hour consultation at Bexhill High Academy where 500 people attended, according to Sea Change.

Chief executive John Shaw even gave a talk at a Bexhill Town Forum meeting to try and increase residents’ knowledge of the road.

The report to the planning committee says the road and the future development will provide job opportunities and sustainable growth for Bexhill.

The Environment Agency do not oppose the application but do suggest some mitigation to reduce the risk to wildlife.

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