Is the new link road‘Gateway’ good for Battle?

10/2/15- Bexhill Museum's scale model of the Bexhill to Hastings Link Road. SUS-151002-164805001
10/2/15- Bexhill Museum's scale model of the Bexhill to Hastings Link Road. SUS-151002-164805001

A major new gateway road scheme has been given the green light, much to the fury of environmental campaigners.

There were shouts of anger from objectors in the public gallery at a council meeting last week when Sea Change Sussex was given unanimous approval by Hastings Borough Council (HBC) to build the new road linking the A21 with Queensway.

But some Battle residents believe it will be a good thing for the town as it will deter through traffic from the already congested High Street.

Called the Queensway Gateway Road (QGR) the plans include three roundabouts on a route that could take traffic from the busy A21 to the Bexhill to Hastings Link Road.

Hundreds of objectors wrote to Hastings Borough Council ahead of Wednesday’s planning committee meeting, criticising the plans.

Dr Judy Clark, speaking on behalf of objectors, said: “The application neither establishes that there is an immediate local need for the development nor adequately establishes its full impacts, and their significance, on the nature conservation interest of Hollington Valley Local Wildlife Site.

“There is plenty of employment space already in the pipeline and no adequate evidence of a current need for more employment land has been provided.”

Objectors also fear the scheme will increase traffic congestion, noise and pollution, will lead to a loss of informal amenity/recreation space,as well as contamination of local watercourses.

John Shaw, chief executive officer (CEO) of Sea Change Sussex, said the application was ‘extremely timely’ considering the impending opening of the link road.

He said: “The scheme will provide better access for jobs for local people, as well as provide access to employment spaces for Hastings and Rother.

We are proposing appropriate drainage to protect the local area, as well new habitats for the wetlands and protected animal species.”