Work on Queensway Gateway road in St Leonards

Gabriel Carlyle
Gabriel Carlyle

Developers have been ordered to stop work on the Queensway Gateway road.

In February SeaChange Sussex was given permission by Hastings Borough Council to build the £15 million road linking Sedlescombe Road North with Queensway in St Leonards.

The plans include three roundabouts on a route that could take traffic from the busy A21 to the Bexhill to Hastings Link Road.

But almost 500 people wrote to the council voicing their angry objections to the scheme and Gabriel Carlyle, from the Combe Haven Defenders group, launched a High Court legal challenge against the borough council’s to grant permission.

This week the High Court agreed that a judicial review could go ahead.

Solicitors from Richard Buxton Law, a specialist environmental and public law firm, are bringing the case on behalf of Mr Carlyle.

They said ‘no further steps can be taken by the interested party to implement the permissions’ until the case is heard. The hearing is likely to take place in June or July.

The challenge claims that the borough council’s planning committee failed to take account of breaches of national and EU laws on air pollution that would be caused by the project.

Mr Carlyle said: “I am delighted that the High Court has ruled that Hastings Borough Council has a case to answer in its decision to grant planning permission for this destructive road, and has ordered SeaChange Sussex to cease any further work.

“This road would cause breaches in air pollution levels and an increase in greenhouse gases, as well as doing terrible damage to an important and irreplaceable wildlife site.”

A spokesman for Sea Change said: “We’re in the process of taking legal advice and examining the implications of our project of the judge’s decision. In any case, we hadn’t scheduled any physical works to construct the Queensway Gateway road until later this year.”

Kevin Boorman, spokesman for Hastings Borough Council, said: “The council is not responsible for building the road, so we cannot comment on any ruling affecting its construction.

“It is also inappropriate for us to comment on the planning matters at this stage because there is legal action under way. However, I can confirm that we will be defending our decision.”