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Dual carriageway

Photo by Adrian Arbib

Additional £13m needed for BHLR

ESCC are considering the approval of over £13m of public money to cover increased construction costs, construction risks and protester action, writes HOT’s Zelly Restorick. In addition, Amber Rudd is calling for ESCC to commit to building the Baldslow link, joining Queensway to the A21, costing an estimated £30m.

Baldslow Link

The 3 Baldslow Link proposed routes

The link road project continues, expanding in terms of construction and costs. The original estimated cost in 2002 was £24m. The number of jobs that will be created has also increased from 3000 to 3500, although the Department for Transport have said the figure is more likely to be 900.

There are three possible routes for the Baldslow Link: one through Beauport park, including a highly wooded Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or through Hollington Valley. Costs are so high because of the landscapes involved.

And although Amber Rudd, MP calls the Baldslow Link the ‘final link in the puzzle’, it isn’t, as other link roads are part of the development project, as can be seen from the plans for the Gateway Road, all being submitted for planning application – as CEO of Sea Change Sussex, John Shaw said – in ‘bitesize digestible chunks’.

Deadline for Gateway Road objections increased

I heard on the grapevine that comments and objections to the Gateway Road could still be submitted to Rother District Council, despite a publicized deadline passed weeks ago on 31 May – and I rang RDC for confirmation. The receptionist I spoke to confirmed this. I asked how a deadline wasn’t really a deadline and was told that objections and comments received by the original deadline would definitely be given full attention – and those submitted by the alternative deadline would be given attention, but maybe not to the same level.

The Combe Haven Defenders have just released information stating that a letter  was issued to all the Sea Change Sussex tenants at The Creative Media Centre to sign in support of the Gateway Road, days after the official deadline for comments and objections was passed. Sea Change Sussex is one of the major players in the new development programme. [Was this why the deadline was extended?] The letter states that the Creative Media Centre is full, yet it would appear that tenants are being transferred from one building to another and that there are a number of suites to rent.

So, if you still want to file an objection or comment, you can. I was told the new deadline was July 17th, as the committee would be meeting on the 18th, although when I checked the website, the stated deadline is 24 July. Here’s the link to the RDC planning site – or send your comments to Bexhill Town Hall.

Arm’s length

It was interesting [and simultaneously, incredibly frustrating] that the RDC receptionist wouldn’t put me through to the planning department to speak to them direct, putting me on hold instead and relaying the planning departments answers to my questions. And, when I asked for a face-to-face meeting with the planning department, told me that this wasn’t possible. I wonder what this is about? Aren’t they meant to be working for us, rather than putting up barriers between us?

As an adjunct to this, two people I know who actively oppose the link road, have written with detailed questions to our local MP, Amber Rudd, receiving replies [example here] briefly and simply stating that her opinion differs – with no response to the questions.

The democratic process, eh? My interpretation of this seems to be very different to how things actually operate on ground level. Or is it just me?

National rally in Crowhurst

Anti Road Rally poster

Artwork by Erica Smith

A ‘Roads to Nowhere’ national rally is being held this Saturday – 13 July 2 – 5pm at the Recreation Ground in Crowhurst, near the Plough Inn, if you’re interested in the link road – and the associated development of the various link roads to the links road, the business parks, the housing development and the promised jobs. The Campaign for Better Transport, Hastings Alliance and the Combe Haven Defenders want to raise awareness of the government’s plans for nearly 200 new roads throughout the country – of which the Bexhill Hastings Link Road is the first. Speakers, guided walks, music, food, poetry, activities for all ages. The rally is supported by Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England.

Campaigners build the Chancellor a dual carriageway of his own

Roads to Nowhere

Photo by Adrian Arbib

Campaigners protesting against the government’s national and local road building project, visited George Osborne’s doorstep a little while ago, building a dual carriageway outside the walls of Crag Hall in the Peak District National Park. Luckily for the owners of Crag Hall, their home is safe, as is their view of the unspoilt surrounding countryside and the peace it offers them, unlike the homes of other less privileged people [and other species] in other areas of the country, where homes will be demolished and peaceful countryside obliterated.

ESCC report on increased funding here.

 

Posted 21:41 Tuesday, Jul 9, 2013 In: Campaigns

2 Comments

Please read our comment guidelines before posting on HOT

  1. Zelly Restorick

    Hello Alice, Do you mean the Gateway Road? [HOT has covered this in previous articles – people can still submit their objections or comments about this to Rother District Council. See link above.] All the best, Zelly

    Comment by Zelly Restorick — Thursday, Jul 11, 2013 @ 10:43

  2. Alice E. Kirk

    The warning comes after economic development company Sea Change Sussex submitted a proposal for an 850- metre single carriageway connecting the yet-to-be-built link road and Wrestwood Road in Bexhill.

    Comment by Alice E. Kirk — Wednesday, Jul 10, 2013 @ 23:27

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