Judicial review on Queensway Gateway Road permission turned down by High Court

Residents at a tree dressing event in Hollington Valley in December 2014
Residents at a tree dressing event in Hollington Valley in December 2014

A campaigner has lost a second legal challenge against the planning permission for the Queensway Gateway Road.

Gabriel Carlyle launched the challenge last month.

The application for judicial review of Hastings Borough Council’s (HBC) decision to grant permission for the road claimed issues of air pollution, which previously caused planning permission to be revoked last June, had not been properly addressed.

Yesterday (Thursday, April 7), the High Court in London decised not to grant the judicial review.

Permission for the 650-metre road was first granted in February 2015 by the borough council’s planning committee, then quashed the following June.

The application was considered for a second time in December after the traffic and air pollution figures had been revised, with applicant Sea Change Sussex claiming the levels of air pollution were now within legal limits.

This revised application was then passed, despite more than 800 objections.

Environmental group, Combe Haven Defenders, said a recent report by the Royal College of Physicians estimates outdoor air pollution kills 40,000 people in the UK each year, at a cost of £20 billion.

Andrea Needham, spokesman for the group, said: “We all know this is the same road as it ever was, and will produce the same amount of air pollution.

“It is a tragedy Hastings Borough Council has allowed itself to accept this, which will lead to a precious local wildlife site being replaced with a road and business park, and residents being exposed to high – and highly likely unlawful – levels of air pollution.

“If, ultimately, the council’s decision to build the road is considered lawful, and the road can proceed with near-critical air pollution levels being reached, then it explains why 40,000 people have been dying year on year from air pollution. Councils like Hastings are legally able to do so. This is alarming.”

Andrew Palmer, the council’s assistant director of housing and built environment, said: “We are very pleased indeed Mr Justice Dove upheld the council’s position at the High Court yesterday and decided not to grant a judicial review of the planning permission for the Queensway Gateway Road.

“We are now looking forward to seeing works progress at the site.”

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