Council bosses have quashed permission for the £15m Queensway Gateway road to be built, it has been announced today (Monday, June 22).
A judicial review into the original permission, which was granted by the authority in February, was due to be heard on Thursday and Friday this week at the High Court in London.
The legal challenge was brought by St Leonards resident Gabriel Carlyle, from the Combe Haven Defenders group, who said the authority should not have granted planning permission for the project as the road would breach national and EU laws on air pollution.
The Queensway Gateway plans, which will now be reconsidered at a later council planning meeting, include three roundabouts on a route that could take traffic from the busy A21 to the Bexhill to Hastings Link Road.
Almost 500 people wrote to the council voicing their angry objections to the scheme and Mr Carlyle, from the Combe Haven Defenders group, launched a High Court legal challenge following the borough council’s granting of permission.
He said: “I am delighted Hastings Borough Council has recognised that it made an error of law in granting planning permission for this destructive road. If built, the road would have not only breached air pollution laws, but also destroyed an important wildlife site and caused an increase in carbon emissions. I hope that the council will now consign the road plans to history, and commit to properly preserving our green spaces.”
Kevin Boorman, spokesman for Hastings Borough Council, said: “The High Court has already ruled that the majority of Mr Carlyle’s arguments are misconceived.
“However, we do accept that the report which went to our planning committee in respect of the Queensway Gateway road did not draw committee members’ attention to the policy regarding air quality. It should have done, and we apologise for this omission.
“We do not think that it is in the interests of local council taxpayers for us to continue lengthy and potentially costly legal debate and so we have agreed to reconsider the scheme again at a further planning committee meeting.
“It would be inappropriate for us to make any further comment on the original planning report, or to speculate on what might happen in the future, at this time.”
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