Further changes to the Bexhill to Hastings link road’s planning conditions have been agreed this week.
The route is due to open this autumn and East Sussex County Council approved amendments to conditions in August allowing it to be fully opened before all the landscaping had been completed if necessary.
A further application seeking permission to allow the link road to open before works to boundary walls and fencing are finished was approved by members of East Sussex County Council’s Planning Committee on Wednesday.
Although councillors raised concerns around road safety, officers assured them that safety barriers on the edge of the carriageway and acoustic fencing would all be finished before the link road was fully opened.
The officers’ report said the majority of the fencing that may not be erected before the link road is opened is in the rural part of the scheme. While this will still be provided its construction has been delayed in places due to ‘future land management issues’.
A report presented to members said: “The proposed alteration to the wording of condition 13 will not automatically approve the use of the link road without having completed the fencing and boundary treatment, instead it will provide the flexibility of allowing the link road to open to the public, without the aforementioned measures being in place, should the need arise.”
Roy Galley pointed out that there had been some reaction to the last set of amendments and asked whether the changes to conditions would provoke a similar response.
Godfrey Daniel, chairman of the committee, said there were a small vocal number of people who ‘enjoyed’ media coverage on the link road issue.
Last week sustainable transport campaigners criticised further increases to the cost of the project which now stand at £120.8m, rising £4.4m from previous estimates.
Derrick Coffee, from the Campaign for Better Transport – East Sussex, said claims the road will create more jobs were based on ‘very flimsy evidence that would raise eyebrows in a class of year-six schoolchildren’, and believed £4.4m could have gone towards a new railway station or paid for improvements to the bus network.
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