Bexhill to Hastings link road back on the agenda

The Bexhill to Hastings Link Road (BHLR) ' bridge construction near Upper wilting Farm
The Bexhill to Hastings Link Road (BHLR) ' bridge construction near Upper wilting Farm

The new Bexhill to Hastings link road could open sooner if amendments to the plans are agreed next week.

East Sussex County Council was set to open the new route in May, but work on the £116m project was delayed due to a wet winter, and the authority has since been tight-lipped on any revised opening date.

Previously it has said that it will be open by this autumn, while the one-off Bexhill to Hastings Link Road 10k race has been set for September 20.

Now the authority’s planning committee will decide at a meeting next Wednesday (August 19) whether to allow the public to use the road before landscaping works are completed.

Under the terms of the approved planning permission the entire link road cannot be opened without the landscaping works and the ‘greenway’, which is being designed for cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders, being completed.

The county council has not received any objections, but Cllr Michael Ensor has said while he understands the reason behind the amendment, he would like assurances that all the landscaping and environmental works for the southern section from the A259 as far as the Ninfield Road bridge are fully completed before the road is opened.

This is after residents complained that environmental works for this section were not completed before the diversion route was opened.

The officers’ report said the changes would allow a degree of flexibility to open the road ‘should the need arise’, but permission would still be needed from the director for planning and environment.

The council has long promoted the road as a way of boosting the economy of the area.

However the scheme has not been without controversy, with many Observer readers questioning how effectively it will cut congestion.

The scheme has also attracted the opposition of the Combe Haven Defenders.

When construction work began on the road in December, 2012, protestors took to the treetops to express their anger at the project.

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