A259 widening scheme in Littlehampton to resume following Government intervention

Works on the multi-million pound project to widen the A259 are set to continue following Government intervention in the scheme.

Preparation work in Angmering was stopped while a public inquiry was held about West Sussex County Council buying land for the £25.8m scheme, which will see two stretches of the road in Angmering and Littlehampton turned into dual carriageways.

The inquiry was held in November, and a decision was published by the Department of Transport in early March, approving the compulsory purchase order – shortly before the country went into lockdown. Works will continue on August 10.

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Roger Elkins, cabinet member for highways and infrastructure at West Sussex County Council, said: “I’m pleased we can now make progress again with this scheme, which is so important for both road users and the local economy.

An artist's impression of what the A259 improvements in Littlehampton should look like

“Strategically, the dual carriageway will support the provision of at least 800 new homes and 8.95 hectares of new employment space. It will reduce congestion and so cut both journey times and pollution.”

The inspector’s report said eight objections were made to the order before the inquiry began, with three left by the end. Those were Steven Lawrence, his wife, and their neighbours the Lanes, who all live in Toddington Park and whose homes would be affected by the scheme.

Windroos Developments Limited, which owned some of the land the council needed, questioned ‘what provision has been made for the payment of compensation’. None objected to the principle of the scheme, the report noted.

In response, the council said any detriment was ‘outweighed by the compelling case in favour of the scheme’ and that Windroos’ objection letter ‘was submitted before further information on funding had been provided by the council’ which outlined how it would pay the money. The inspector sided with the council in their conclusions.

The work set to resume on August 10 will include tree and vegetation clearance, utilities work and archaeological evaluations between the A280 roundabout and Station Road in Angmering. The same works will also begin between Highdown Drive and the Body Shop roundabout in Littlehampton.

None of the trees being cleared are subject to Tree Preservation Orders and an ecologist will be on hand throughout the works to ensure any nesting birds are not disturbed. There will be a replanting scheme at the end of the project, the council said.

Minimal traffic control should be needed at this stage, so it is hoped there will be little impact on traffic flow.

The main part of the construction work is likely to start in the autumn and will widen the same single-lane stretches of road in Angmering and Littlehampton – totalling about 2km – to dual carriageway.

There will also be approximately 2km of new pedestrian and cycle route on the south side of the improved road. Much of this will be segregated from the road by a grass verge.