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Countryside lovers protest against the North Bexhill Access Road (photo: CHD).

Countryside lovers protest against the North Bexhill Access Road (photo: CHD).

Countryside lovers protest against Rother go-ahead for another Sea Change road

In the wake of the recent approval given by Hastings Borough Council for the Queensway Gateway road, Rother District Council have given the green light for another Sea Change Sussex road-building project, the North Bexhill Access Road. Combe Haven Defenders (CHD) invited local residents to show their love for the countryside and protest the latest loss of green space, as they report.

Dozens of local residents gathered on Valentine’s Day to say no to the proposed North Bexhill Access Road (NBAR). They walked some of the route of the road, and stopped for a photocall amongst trees threatened by the proposed road.

According to the environmental statement submitted as part of the planning application, the 2.4-kilometre road will cause the loss of nearly 2 kilometres of “species rich hedgerows” and damage the habitats of many protected species including bats, dormice, reptiles and red-listed birds – species needing urgent action, in the view of the RSPB. It will run just a few metres from several stands of ancient woodland, including one, Kiteye Wood, which is a scout camp.

The NBAR has been on and off the Rother District Council planning committee agenda since December, but was finally passed on 11 February. The road has caused huge controversy locally, with opponents citing loss of green space, overdevelopment and effects on protected species as major concerns. The road is being developed by Sea Change Sussex and will allow for 3,100 houses and 60,000 square metres of business space to be built on the countryside north of Bexhill.

“The North Bexhill Access Road is another Sea Change white elephant project, which will destroy a huge area of open countryside and have serious impacts on wildlife, biodiversity and ancient woodland,” said CHD spokesperson Anthony Bradnum.

“It will encourage more car use, at a time in history when we should be doing everything we can to provide alternative means of transport in order to reduce carbon emissions. Neither Rother District Council nor Sea Change Sussex will come clean about the real costs of the road, but like all the other new roads locally, it will be paid for with public money. This is a deeply unpopular road, and we are determined to carry on opposing it.”

 

Combe Haven Defenders can be contacted on 07565 967 250.

Posted 14:24 Saturday, Feb 20, 2016 In: Campaigns

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