James Evison 18 December 2012

Protestors take action against Bexhill-Hastings link road

Development of the £94m Bexhill-Hastings link road has met with opposition from campaigners intending to halt the highway’s expansion.

Clearance work started on Friday, but protestors climbed the trees scheduled for felling, resulting in two arrests.

East Sussex CC, which legally owned the land from last weekend, sent in contractors with chainsaw operatives, as well as security guards, to begin the work.

But according to Combe Haven Defenders, the group responsible for the direct action, the contractors were met with opposition from around 30 protestors who blockaded an access road and then positioned themselves among trees.

A spokesperson for the group said it believed the road would become ‘a national issue’, and an increasing number of protestors would come down to the site.

Contractors decided to call off the work following heavy wind and rain.

But the stand-off began again on Monday with four protestors arrested having climbed into trees, according to the Combe Haven Defenders.

Council leader, Peter Jones, said: ‘This road will bring real benefits to Hastings and Bexhill, including better access to jobs; fewer cars using roads that aren't suitable for them; opportunities for housing and business development; and a reduction in the number of accidents on local roads.

‘The road will make it possible to build 1,200 to 2,000 new homes and business park space of 50,000 square metres.'

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