Hundreds object to new Gateway plans

Hundreds of people have written to council planners objecting to a major new gateway road scheme for the borough which could support hundreds of jobs.

Sea Change Sussex has applied to the borough council to build the new road linking Sedlescombe Road North with Queensway.

The planning committee will discuss the application at the Town Hall on Wednesday (February 4).

Called the Queensway Gateway Road (QGR) the plans include three roundabouts on a route that could take traffic from the busy A21 to the Bexhill to Hastings Link Road.

According to a report to the planning committee the scheme could ‘provide for access to existing and emerging employment development sites which will benefit the economic and regeneration of the borough and the surrounding area and it benefit the strategic road network in line with other future road network improvements’.

The letters of objection submitted to the planning committee are on the following grounds: the development will harm the Hollington Valley Local Wildlife Site, the proposal will increase traffic congestion and the allocated sites do not need to be developed as other employment sites are yet to be developed, the development is contrary to the National Planning Policy Framework as significant harm is being caused which cannot be mitigated or compensated for.

Other concerns highlighted include: Traffic congestion will increase, the road will service new employment development land but no evidence has been provided that further land needs to be developed, the road will harm the designated Local Wildlife Site, increased noise and pollution, loss of informal amenity/recreation space, employment uses will harm character and appearance, closure of Junction Road and restrictions to Maplehurst Road and impact on road network, lack of on-street parking, no consideration of alternative routing, disturbance and nuisance during construction, inadequate consultation with local bodies and residents, inadequate ecology information, contamination of local watercourses, poor highway and pedestrian safety.

A report to the borough council recommends the plans are approved subject to conditions. It states: “While the Queensway Gateway Road itself will not generate any traffic, it has been designed to take into account the redistribution of traffic from the Link Road and The Ridge heading towards the A21, and has been designed to accommodate the traffic generated by the employment development it is intended to serve.”