Rother District Council to buy land to make way for controversial Bexhill road

Protestors on the route of the North Bexhill Access Road earlier this year
Protestors on the route of the North Bexhill Access Road earlier this year

The council is to use its legal powers to buy land so the new North Bexhill Access Road can be built.

Officers from Rother District Council (RDC) recommended using a compulsory purchase order (CPO) to acquire the stretch of countryside needed for the 2.4km long road.

On Monday (September 5), councillors on the authority’s cabinet committee approved of the recommendations.

Despite protests, planning permission was granted in February for Sea Change Sussex (SCS) to build the North Bexhill Access Road, which will go from Combe Valley Way, around the top of Sidley, to Ninfield Road.

SCS has acquired almost half of the land through negotiations with the owners but asked RDC to use its powers to obtain the rest, according to a report, which was presented at Monday’s meeting.

The land still needed goes from Ninfield Road to just past Watermill Lane, as well as two small patches on Buckholt Lane and near the link road, which opened last December.

The report by Dr Anthony Leonard, RDC’s executive director of business operations, said the new road would ‘enable the take up of at least 26,000 sqm of employment space’ and relieve congestion on the A269.

The North Bexhill Access Road has attracted a lot of opposition from objectors, with many concerned about the impact on wildlife, pollution, traffic and the loss of countryside. In April, almost 250 people signed a petition demanding no more public money be allocated to the controversial scheme.

The petition was set up by Combe Haven Defenders on the 38 Degrees website.

The application for the road was delayed twice from being discussed by RDC’s planning committee but was eventually granted.

East Sussex County Council said it believes the road will complememt the link road and help to create more than 2,000 jobs.

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