Legal challenge launched over Gateway Road

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A resident from St Leonards has launched a legal challenge against the borough council’s decision to grant permission for the Queensway Gateway Road.

The High Court challenge is being brought by Gabriel Carlyle who claims the 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 also claims the committee failed to take account of the Habitats Directive on protected species; failed to consider alternatives to the road; and failed to take account of the cumulative effect of the road and business park.

In addition, it states that Hastings Borough Council ‘failed entirely to consider the increase of greenhouse gas emissions that will arise from the proposal and so is contrary to any efforts the UK may be taking to tackle climate change’.

The case, which is being conducted by lawyers from Richard Buxton, a specialist environmental and public law firm, should be heard at the High Court sometime between May and July. Permission for the Queensway Gateway road was granted in February despite hundreds of objections.

Mr Carlyle said: “At a time when the world is facing catastrophic climate, it is utterly irresponsible to be building new roads and destroying green spaces. If this road is built, it will cause an increase in CO2 emissions, serious air pollution and great harm to protected species. This legal challenge aims to compel the council to reconsider this damaging waste of public money before it is too late.”

There were shouts of anger from objectors in the public gallery at of the planning meeting in February as Sea Change Sussex was given unanimous approval by Hastings Borough Council to build the new 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.

Sea Change believes the scheme will attract hundreds of jobs to the town. The council received 371 letters of objection and a petition.

The claimed the development would harm the Hollington Valley Local Wildlife Site, increase traffic congestion and the allocated sites did not need to be developed as other employment sites were yet to be developed. Kevin Boorman, head of communications and marketing at the council, said: “Because there is a legal case pending it would inappropriate for us to comment on the detail of this case. But I can confirm that we will be defending this action.”