Combe Haven Defenders blast St Leonards business park development

Fly-tipping on North Queensway SUS-170812-102027001
Fly-tipping on North Queensway SUS-170812-102027001

An environmental group has criticised the business park development at North Queensway, which it said was supposed to create hundreds of jobs.

The Combe Haven Defenders claim five years after the project was first announced, the only construction that has taken place is a short access road.

Meanwhile, the site has been invaded by quad bikers and fly-tippers.

When the construction of North Queensway Innovation Park was announced by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership in late 2012, it was claimed it could create 865 jobs.

Combe Haven Defenders said Sea Change originally claimed that ‘first occupation of the scheme could be in 2014’, but three years on from then, no substantive development has taken place. The site abuts the Marline Valley nature reserve and was a wildlife site before all the trees were felled in 2014.

Anthony Bradnum, spokesman for Combe Haven Defenders, said: “This is yet another disastrous project from Sea Change, paid for with public money, destroying important habitats, and so far not producing a single job. Rather than the hundreds of jobs we were promised, what we have is an eyesore of fly-tipping and quad bike trails.”

A Sea Change spokesman said: “Sea Change Sussex has experienced considerable delays in securing planning consents for the North Queensway Innovation Park and has proceeded at the pace necessary to deal with ecology issues relating to habitats.

“This meant it wasn’t possible to start the first phase of access until late 2014 and the second phase until July 2016. In an ideal world, we’d have carried out these works at the same time, but we can only proceed at a pace permitted by the various statutory regulations and processes.

“However, the North Queensway project will still proceed as planned. Development will start when planning and other permissions are obtained, conditions are discharged and the purchasers are ready.

“The basis for the discharge of conditions for the first development has been agreed with the relevant authorities and work should start when the formal permission is obtained. Meanwhile, we deplore those fly-tipping on the site and the unauthorised access of vehicles, which we’re taking measures to prevent.”