OVER two-thirds of those charged in connection with the peaceful protests against the controversial £100m Bexhill-Hastings Link Road (BHLR) have had half of their charges dropped.
Seventeen people are currently awaiting trial in connection with peaceful direct action protests against the Road in December 2012 and January 2013.
Of these, 13 had been charged with the offence of “obstructing an enforcement officer engaged to execute a High Court writ”.
These charges have now been dropped, leaving the 13 charged only with “aggravated trespass”.
Several defendants – including local physicist Patrick Nicholson and environmental educator Rosa Canadas - were due to appear at Hastings Magistrates Court on Wednesday afternoon for a pre-trial review.
Patrick Nicholson, 48, a medical physicist, of High Street, Hastings said: “I’m pleased that the hearing gave us the chance to begin explaining why we had to take peaceful action against the Link Road and in favour of more sustainable alternatives.
“We will continue fighting for a better deal for local people and the environment, and to stop this road-to-nowhere and the many others in the pipeline nationally.”
The peaceful protests against the road – which have resulted in 29 arrests to date – have already received national attention with protestors climbing trees and chaining themselves to vehicles in a bid to prevent contractors carrying out work.
Among the more high profile protestors has been Natalie Hynde, daughter of Ray Davies, of the Kinks and Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders.