March 12, 2015 by combehavendefenders
Eager as they are to start creating 1,370 jobs for the people of Hastings, SeaChange Sussex moved in to start work in Hollington Valley only a few weeks after the planning committee’s decision to grant planning permission for the Queensway Gateway road.
Treefellers have been out in force, cutting down trees standing in the path of the road. Never mind that it’s nesting season, when the RSPB and Natural England advise that treefelling and hedgerow clearance should be avoided. No matter that construction on the road is not due to begin for many months. The trees had to be felled.
They have been working on both sides of the site: on the eastern side, they have felled the two large oaks (see pictures below) where we did the treedressing last December.
On the western side by Queensway, they have felled a large copse containing a variety of trees including oaks, ash and holm oak. One large holm oak has been left standing for now as it is a bat roost, but it will not be there long.
On March 11, treefellers were confronted by protesters, who ducked under the tape and stationed themselves around the trees to prevent cutting. There was a couple of hours’ standoff, then police arrived. Those who came to the Link road protests will recognise a couple of these characters as part of the ‘protest liaison team’:
There was also an evidence gatherer, who was very keen on gathering evidence on protesters (filming almost non-stop for most of the day) but reluctant to collect any evidence on the crimes against the environment taking place all around him.
Protesters were pushed around and threatened repeatedly with arrest. This is what you can expect if you try to save a little piece of our green space from ‘development’.
The people who make these criminal decisions – the ten councillors on the planning committee who nodded the £15m scheme through with less deliberation than they might give to an application to put in new windows; the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) board who awarded funding for the road (step forward, Peter Jones); John Shaw and his cronies at SeaChange Sussex who are presiding over this desecration – sit back in their offices and gloat whilst those on the front line of trying to stop these atrocities are threatened with arrest and put onto police databases.