May 5, 2015 by combehavendefenders
Combe Haven Defenders 
Tuesday 5 May 2015
Contact 07565 967 250
ACCESS ROAD TO NORTH QUEENSWAY INNOVATION PARK NAMED ‘NO JOBS CLOSE’
865 jobs promised, no jobs created in £32m SeaChange project
Campaigners have named the £1.5m, 51 metre access road to SeaChange’s North Queensway Innovation Park in Hastings. From a shortlist which included ‘John Shaw’s Folly’, ‘No Jobs Way’ and ‘Gizza Job Road’, the name ‘No Jobs Close’ was chosen.
The dead end road onto the site from Queensway was built in 2013 using a £1.5m grant from the South East Local Enterprise Project (SELEP) . SeaChange also put £0.5m into land acquisition and ‘pre-development work’ . The total cost of the scheme was projected to be £32m . SELEP claimed that the scheme could create 865 jobs . SeaChange suggested it would create 700 jobs , a figure it later revised downwards to just 300 . To date, not a single job has been created.
According to SeaChange’s environmental statement , ‘first occupation of the scheme could be in 2014’. SeaChange claimEd to have undertaken a consultation exercise for the scheme in summer 2012, ‘which revealed considerable interest from the local industrial community’ . However, no further progress has been made on the site since the access road was built in 2013.
Before all the trees were felled last year, the area was an important wildlife site. SeaChange commissioned an ‘ecology baseline report’  in 2006 which showed that:
- Most of the woodland on the site was indistinguishable from adjoining woodland areas that were designated as both ancient woodland and SSSI;
- The site’s grassland supported ‘exceptional’ breeding populations of both slow-worms and common lizards.
- Badgers commuted across the site and utilised grassland areas within the site for foraging;
- Dormice were likely to be present in all areas of woodland, and in mixed woody and bramble scrub habitats across the site;
Andrea Needham, spokesperson for Combe Haven Defenders, said, ‘This is yet another disastrous project from SeaChange, paid for with public money, destroying important habitats, and not producing a single job. Rather than the hundreds of jobs we were promised, what we have is an eyesore of felled trees and flytipping. Meanwhile, Hastings Borough Council has allowed SeaChange to destroy Hollington Valley local wildlife site in order to build yet another business park, which will no doubt prove as unsuccessful as this one. We need urgently to call time on these ill-fated projects, and demand that regeneration money is spent for the good of the community and the environment.’
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