wTHE LONG awaited Hastings to Bexhill Link Road could finally get the green light after the government confirmed multi-million pound funding would be available for the scheme.
In the Chancellor’s autumn statement earlier this week, George Osborne confirmed funding for the four-mile stretch of road from the A259 at Little Common Road in Bexhill to a junction at Queensway.
The scheme must now receive approval from the Department for Transport which is expected to make a decision within two weeks.
The county council has already spent £15million on a public inquiry, land surveys, design and consultation work.
It has now committed a further £22.5million after the Government rubber-stamped its bid to the DfT for £56million of funding.
The link road is one of 25 schemes in a nationwide development pool which has seen local authorities submit business cases for their plans.
Department officials will now spend the next few days scrutinising each scheme’s business case to assess its environmental and economic benefits.
Rupert Clubb, director of economy, transport and environment at the county council, believes the economic benefits to the area will be vital.
He said: “Hastings is the most deprived town in the county and this link road could provide crucial employment and investment opportunities.
“The road opens up empty land for job creation and housing which is vital for economic growth and prosperity.
“Over the next 10 years we want to provide opportunities for local people by encouraging business growth, development and regeneration and new road schemes like this are key to the process.
“It has already started with the new college buildings at Station Plaza and the Saga building in Hastings town centre.
“This road link sits well with our regeneration plans and could open up a whole host of new opportunities.”
Hastings MP Amber Rudd said: “Many of us have campaigned for years for this result.
“The Government has shown its commitment to Hastings and Rye through financing this road which is key to further regeneration of the area.
“The Link Road will directly facilitate land at NE Bexhill for a half million sq ft Business Park, which will create 2,000 jobs.
“It will also release land for 1,300 homes, essential for Rother planning needs with no comparable space for provision elsewhere in the area.
“Furthermore, it will provide existing firms with the space to expand, grow and create jobs in the area.
“Of course it will relieve the Bexhill Road and its long suffering residents to overcome the problems of unreliable journey times between Hastings and Bexhill and along the coast which is a huge problem for our local businesses.”