Second legal bid to stop Gateway road

Gabriel Carlyle SUS-150429-174136001
Gabriel Carlyle SUS-150429-174136001

A resident has launched a second legal challenge against the planning permission for the Queensway Gateway road in Hastings on air pollution grounds.

Gabriel Carlyle’s legal challenge follows a BBC documentary aired on Monday (February 29) when the chairman of Hastings Borough Council’s planning committee said the new road will cause ‘problems...for the air quality’.

The application for Judicial Review of HBC’s decision to grant permission for the road claims issues of air pollution – which previously caused planning permission to be revoked in June – have not been properly addressed.

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.

However, the challenge claims HBC made a number of legal errors in granting permission for a second time, including that they did not explain to the planning committee expected reductions in vehicle emissions had not materialised and the new figures could therefore not be relied on.

Environmental group Combe Haven Defenders has welcomed the legal challenge to the £15m road.

Spokeswoman Emily Johns said: “The Queensway Gateway road, if built, would wipe out the Hollington Valley wildlife site, increase carbon emissions and cause unlawful air pollution.

“Local authorities are required to take action to reduce both air pollution and carbon emissions, but HBC has done precisely the opposite in granting permission for this highly polluting and destructive road.

“The world is facing an unprecedented threat from runaway climate change: to be building new roads at this point in history is absolutely wrong.

“We welcome this new legal challenge and trust this time, the council will finally accept that this appalling road should not be built, and that Hollington Valley should be saved for future generations.”

A SeaChange spokesman said: “This is yet another attempt by a handful of protestors to hold up progress in improving the local road network and bringing jobs to Hastings – much to the irritation of most of the community.

“This is despite the Queensway Gateway scheme having gained full democratic planning approval.

“It’s ironic to remember these are the same protestors who campaigned against the Link Road with placards saying it would bring ‘gridlock’ to the Ridge.

“One of the major benefits of the Queensway Gateway road will precisely be to relieve traffic on the Ridge – and they’re now opposing that.

“There’s no coherence to their position.

“We certainly don’t believe there are any valid grounds for a legal challenge of the council’s planning consent for the scheme, but we’ll wait to see how their latest action unfolds.”

A Hastings Borough Council spokesman said: “The planning committee has made its decision, but in the circumstances it would be inappropriate to make any further comment at this stage.”

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