Queensway Gateway road’s future to be decided

The Combe Haven Defenders make their message clear
The Combe Haven Defenders make their message clear

The controversial Queensway Gateway road proposals will be back on the agenda this month.

Hastings Borough Council (HBC) will be making a decision at a planning meeting on December 15 on whether to give the scheme the go-ahead.

Protestors from the Combe Haven Defenders claim the £15m road will create unlawful levels of air pollution and said they have documents stating the road would bring around 24,000 vehicles a day.

The campaigners said SeaChange Sussex, the applicant, has amended traffic figures, claiming methodological and other errors in the first application, and now claims air pollution levels at residential receptors are within lawful limits. However, the group said SeaChange’s own evidence shows air pollution levels at ecological receptors in the Hollington Valley Local Wildlife Site would be up to 570 per cent above permitted levels.

Planning permission for the road was passed by the council in February but subsequently quashed in June.

Gabriel Carlyle brought a legal challenge to the High Court, saying HBC should not have granted it as the road would breach national and EU laws on air pollution. The council apologised that a report, which went to the planning committee in respect of the road did not draw members’ attention to the policy regarding air quality.

Andrea Needham, spokeswoman for Combe Haven Defenders, said: “SeaChange Sussex has performed a conjuring trick to get the pollution levels in people’s homes just below the legal limits, but has failed to do the same for pollution levels in the local wildlife site. The council cannot simply accept SeaChange’s contention that pollution levels in Hollington Valley almost 600 per cent above what is allowed should be disregarded. It is difficult to see how this application if passed again will be in compliance with EU obligations.”

A Seachange spokesman said: “We are fully satisfied with the additional information we’ve submitted to HBC on the Queensway Gateway road scheme. We look forward to the council’s planning committee reconsidering the scheme later this month.”

A council spokesman said: “It would clearly be inappropriate for us to make any comment on this before the meeting. The planning committee will consider all of the facts and make its decision based on these facts.”

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