Protest over Queensway Gateway road in St Leonards

Protestors from the Combe Haven Defenders
Protestors from the Combe Haven Defenders

Dozens of residents turned out in heavy rain yesterday (Sunday, July 26) to protest against the Queensway Gateway Road plans.

Wearing masks and carrying placards saying, You Must Be Choking: No Queensway Gateway Road, people gathered in Sedlescombe Road North in St Leonards, to highlight air pollution which they say would be caused if the road is allowed to go ahead.

Planning permission for the £15m road, which was granted by Hastings Borough Council in February, was later withdrawn after Gabriel Carlyle, from the Combe Haven Defenders, challenged the decision at the High Court.

He said the council should not have given the go-ahead for the project earlier this year, as the road would breach national and EU laws on air pollution.

The council accepted a report, which went to the authority’s planning committee, did not draw committee members’ attention to the policy regarding air quality when it should have done so.

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.

Combe Haven Defenders spokeswoman, Andrea Needham, said: “This event highlights the very serious issue of air pollution which would be caused if this road were to go ahead. SeaChange’s own figures show that the road, if built, would be in breach of national and EU law on air pollution.

“In addition, it would completely destroy Hollington Valley local wildlife site, at a time in history when we are seeing dramatic species decline as a result of habitat loss. We need to value and preserve our green spaces, rather than covering them in concrete.”

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