Campaigner tries to stop link road work

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AN anti-link road campaigner has started legal action against East Sussex County Council to stop work on what he believes is the original Battle of Hastings site.

Michael Bernard asked the county council to wait until English Heritage makes its decision whether or not to re-register Combe Haven Valley as a battlefield.

He and local author/historian Nick Austin, who claims Crowhurst was where Normans clashed with Harold’s army, want all development and construction work to halt until that review is complete.

When ESCC had not responded, Michael last Friday applied to the High Court for an interim injunction order but was told that same evening there was not exceptional urgency to justify it and that the matter would be reviewed in two weeks on February 1, after ESCC has time to respond to the concerns set out in the legal proceedings.

Michael, of Bexhill Link Road Resistance (BLINKRR), commented: “The significance of the new evidence cannot be over-estimated and the consequences of the development will be profound and irrevocable.”

He told the court that the proposed link road would “cut right across one of the key Battle of Hastings sites, the Norman encampment at Upper Wilting, and that any value in the significant historic or heritage site will he permanently lost or destroyed.”

Last week was a significant one in terms of publicity about BHLR protesters - the national press including the Daily Telegraph, Guardian and the Daily Mail carried pieces about granny protest power, while BBC South East news and The One Show filmed groups of protesters up trees and inside dug-outs.

Nick Austin posted on his secretsofthenormaninvasion website his reaction to what he claimed was destruction on the edge of the field where William the Conqueror camped before battle commenced. He announced that chainsaws had been taken to an ancient hedgerow near that campsite.

“We know it was 1,000 years old because HAARG (Hastings Area Archaeological Research Group) got the species dating material around 15 years ago, long before the significance of the dating was known.

“Today another brigade of chainsaws was on the march against humble protesters doing what they can to hold back the tide of fluorescent armour, intent on subduing our landscape into a downtrodden road to no-where.

“Let us support them not only in words but deeds of heroism against the foe who hides behind anonymity.”