I have always been rather neutral about the pros and cons of the Bexhilkl-Hastings link road which is scheduled to begin in January 2013, with a slight bias towards the benefits of the road over the idealistic conservationist green issues.
That was until I recently attended a very thought provoking lecture given by Nick Austin who controversially argues the case that the road will destroy the actual site of the 1066 Battle of Hastings (no physical evidence has ever been lodged to prove that the event ever took place at Battle), and demonstrating that the true Abbey is not at Battle at all, and that the battle actually took place in The Combe Haven Valley.
If what he says in his lectures and in his book ‘Secrets of the Norman Invasion’ is true – and the theory and partial evidence is overwhelming – then the building of this road would be a catastrophe for East Sussex, and the asset of a World Heritage site would be lost forever.
Can you imagine the positive impact of a Heritage site of World importance? All towns within a forty mile radius would benefit, and the area would become an international magnet instead of a local backwater.
East Sussex County Council, which is responsible for the impending disaster has conducted its own in-house archaeological investigation and, of course, have found nothing that supports Nick Austin’s conclusions and they refuse to allow The Battlefields Trust experts to examine the evidence before road building begins in a few weeks. What does this tell us – lack of due diligence perhaps or lack of foresight?
There is a growing feeling, amongst the community, that work on this road should be delayed to allow accredited experts to investigate the evidence further.
Surely the sensible option would be to re-open the closed files on one of the alternative routes for the link road such as the S3A option which would serve as a conduit for tourism to the site rather than destroying the asset itself and yet would still provide a link road starting and ending at the same points?
There are three groups who are organising themselves to resist and campaign at varying levels, before it is too late. Hastings Alliance: http://hastingsalliance.com/ ; Combe Haven Defenders http://combehavendefenders.wordpress.com/ and, here in Bexhill, BLINKRR (Bexhill Link Road Resistance) firstname.lastname@example.org Mobile: 07989 781199
Further information about Nick Austin’s historical thesis can be found at: http://secretsofthenormaninvasion.wordpress.com/