22 May: The Hastings Alliance urges visitors to come to the Combe Haven valley, threatened by the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road, this summer.
"This weekend, I enjoyed a trip to the Brighton Fringe to watch Feral Theatre’s new production ‘Triptych’, which included a spectacular segment about the battle for the ancient woodland that was destroyed to make way for the Newbury Bypass in 1996.
The theatre company, which includes some of the original treetop protestors from Newbury, gave me time to speak to the audience about our fight to save the landscape around another historic battle site – the Combe Haven valley, which the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road (BHLR) will similarly destroy.
Having been approved for funding by the Department for Transport, only last minute legal action or a negative result from the unannounced conclusions of a 2009 Public Inquiry can stop the road.
Funding was approved in the Budget this March even though the DfT rated the BHLR as the worst value for money in the 20 original schemes it considered this year. It’s also the second worst of these local authority roads for CO2 emissions, will subject more children to adverse air quality, and create large adverse road safety conditions for two schools in close proximity.
Despite this, bulldozers could be moving onto the site in a matter of months. Translocation of ‘inconveniently placed protected species’ could begin even sooner – perhaps within weeks.
If this happens, enjoying nature and landscape in tranquillity in Combe Haven will be a thing of the past. So please join us and visit this unique location before it’s wrecked.
Two twentieth anniversaries are almost upon us: it’s the 20th anniversary of the Rio Summit; and also of Twyford Down, both landmarks in highlighting sustainability and our responsibilities to future generations, and all of those now facing the impacts of environmental degradation.
This summer, we aim to have a big ‘Rally in the Valley’ event to protest the road and enjoy the landscape while we can – please join the Hastings Alliance by sending your email address to me (contact details below) if you wish to keep informed of this and other developments."