Voting for gateway road ‘most difficult decision in 20 years’

5/4/14- Save East Sussex Fire Service public meeting, Hastings.  Cllr Phil Scott SUS-141106-122836001
5/4/14- Save East Sussex Fire Service public meeting, Hastings. Cllr Phil Scott SUS-141106-122836001

A councillor, who voted in favour of the controversial Queensway Gateway Road, described it as ‘the most difficult planning decision’ he has had to make in two decades.

The controversial proposal was granted planning permission for the second time at an emotional meeting last month.

Heckles and banners interjected a lively debate on the road by Hastings Borough Council’s planning committee with police and bouncers in attendance.

All but three councillors dramatically voted in favour of the road, causing the public gallery to erupt in protest.

Labour councillor Phil Scott, who voted in favour of the proposal, has spoken out about his decision to back the controversial plans.

Cllr Scott told the Observer: “This has probably been the most difficult planning decision for me in my time on the planning committee over 20 years or more and at different times.

“What tipped the balance for me though was the real need to alleviate traffic on The Ridge, we all know that at peak times and when road works take place along the line of The Ridge the traffic almost grinds to a halt.

“That cannot continue to be the case.

“With the building of this road in the future and physical measures that clearly need to be introduced to ensure traffic can get on and off of The Ridge more easily we should see congestion and long lines of traffic building up a thing of the past.”

The plans had previously been passed by Hastings Borough Council back in February, but a High Court appeal by Gabriel Carlyle of the Combe Haven Defenders challenged the application on illegal levels of air pollution. The decision was then reversed by the council and a new application submitted with Hastings saying it is now satisfied the proposal is within government guidelines.