Press release: Local man launches second legal challenge against Queensway Gateway road

March 1, 2016 by combehavendefenders


Gabriel Carlyle in Hollington Valley

Press release
Combe Haven Defenders [1]
Tuesday 1 March

Contact 07565 967 250

Photo: Gabriel Carlyle in Hollington Valley, site of the proposed Queensway Gateway road


Chair of Planning Committee admits that ‘there will be problems for the air quality’

A local resident has launched a second legal challenge against the planning permission for the Queensway Gateway road in Hastings on air pollution grounds. The Chair of Hastings Borough Council’s Planning Committee has admitted that the road, if built, will cause ‘problems … for the air quality’.

The application for Judicial Review of Hastings Borough Council (HBC)’s decision to grant permission for the SeaChange Sussex road claims that issues of air pollution – which caused the planning permission granted last year to be revoked [2] – have not been properly addressed. The application was considered for a second time in December after the traffic and air pollution figures had been revised, with applicant SeaChange Sussex claiming that the levels of air pollution were now within legal limits. However, the legal challenge claims that HBC made a number of legal errors in granting planning permission for a second time [3], including that they did not explain to the planning committee that expected reductions in vehicle emissions had not materialised and that the new figures could therefore not be relied on.

A recent report by the Royal College of Physicians estimates that outdoor air pollution kills 40,000 people in the UK each year, at a cost of £20bn. [4] Meanwhile, in a sign of how serious the issue of air pollution has become, environmental law firm Client Earth has today sent a final warning letter to environment secretary Liz Truss, giving her ten days to take action on air pollution or face legal action [5].

In a BBC documentary shown on 29 February [6], the Chair of HBC’s planning committee, Richard Street, admitted in an interview immediately after the vote to approve the road for the second time that, With this new road, there will be problems for the environment, for the air quality”.

The application for the controversial £15m, 600m road, which would pass through the middle of the Hollington Valley local wildlife site, was first passed in February 2015 [7], then quashed the following June following a successful legal challenge [2]. Permission was once again granted last December [8], despite over 800 objections. The proposed road will now be the subject of a further legal process, with local resident Gabriel Carlyle, who has brought both challenges, hoping that the planning permission will again be revoked.

Local environmental group Combe Haven Defenders welcomed the legal challenge. Spokesperson Emily Johns said, ‘The Queensway Gateway road, if built, would wipe out the Hollington Valley local wildlife site, increase carbon emissions and cause unlawful air pollution. Local authorities are required to take action to reduce both air pollution and carbon emissions, but Hastings Borough Council has done precisely the opposite in granting permission for this highly polluting and destructive road. The world is facing an unprecedented threat from runaway climate change: to be building new roads at this point in history is absolutely wrong. We welcome this new legal challenge and trust that this time, the council will finally accept that this appalling road should not be built, and that Hollington Valley should be saved for future generations.’

Contact 07565 967 250

Photo: Gabriel Carlyle in Hollington Valley, site of the proposed Queensway Gateway road




[4] ‘Every breath we take: the lifelong impact of air pollution’, Royal College of Physicians, 23 February 2016,


[6] – at 4min 50sec



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