£16m funding for North Bexhill Access Road set to be approved


More than £16m of funding for the controversial North Bexhill Access Road could be approved by East Sussex County Council on Friday.

If agreed by the lead member for strategic management and economic development, Sea Change Sussex would receive the £16.6m grant funding to deliver the 2.4km route, subject to planning permission being granted by Rother District Council (RDC).

People against the North Bexhill Access Road (PANBAR) pictured last year

People against the North Bexhill Access Road (PANBAR) pictured last year

Currently only £13m has been allocated for the road through growth deal funding from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, with the remaining £3.6m will need to be allocated once the LEPs programme for 2016/17 is confirmed.

Meanwhile a separate £1.7m has been set aside for Sea Change to deliver site infrastructure at the Sovereign Harbour, North Queensway and North Bexhill employment sites. This would be subject to a business case being approved.

Both the Combe Haven Defenders and action group People Against the North Bexhill Access Road, set up by residents, have been fighting proposals.

An officers report reads: “The North Bexhill Access Road is one of the Local Growth Deal schemes to come forward in East Sussex and its delivery will help unlock employment space and create jobs in the A21/A259 Bexhill/Hastings growth corridor.

“Equally the improvement of site infrastructure at Sovereign Harbour, North Queensway and North Bexhill as a Local Growth scheme will help unlock employment space and create jobs in the A21/A259 and the A22/A27 Eastbourne/South Wealden growth corridors.”

The planning application was originally due to be decided by RDC’s Planning Committee last month but was withdrawn from the agenda.

At the time a council spokesman said: “Due to the sensitivities and complex issues which surround the proposal, the council sought legal advice which highlighted the need to undertake further work and seek expert advice.

“Having discussed the matter with the chairman and vice-chairman of the planning committee it was agreed, in order to assess the full impact of the road, further analysis would need to be undertaken before the proposal could be considered by the committee.”

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