Bexhill to Hastings link road 'could be delayed'

Map Initial preparations for the new road will continue despite the Hastings Alliance's legal challenge

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The actions of a transport group have been described as "a delaying tactic" by East Sussex County Council.

The Hastings Alliance has applied for a judicial review of the government's provisional decision to pay £56m of the Bexhill-to-Hastings link road costs.

Council leader Peter Jones said the legal challenge could cause delays and raise the risk of an increase in costs.

The Hastings Alliance is opposed to the new road which would go near a site of special scientific interest.

In March, the government allocated £56m to the scheme.

Nick Bingham, chairman of the Hastings Alliance, said they had been advised by legal experts that this was not appropriate decision.

He said: "It is certainly a delaying tactic, we would like it to stop the thing going ahead at all.

"We're tired of this battle too but we do have a long-term commitment, we strongly believe this is not the right solution."

Mr Jones said: "The funding decision was made back in March after an extra three months of consideration by Department for Transport ministers and as I've said before, the Hastings Alliance was fully engaged in that process.

"We are confident the judicial review will not change anything but it could still cause delays, increasing the risk of an increase in costs."

In April, East Sussex County Council agreed to allow work to start on the road before it gets final government approval.

Mr Jones said environmental preparation work would continue while the challenge by the Hastings Alliance takes its course.

The council said the overall cost of the link road was £93.8m and the council's total contribution was £35.5m.

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