100 signatures reached
To: Christian Brodie, Chair, South East Local Enterprise Partnership; Keith Glazier, Leader, East Sussex County Council
No more public funds for the North Bexhill Access Road: £16.6m is enough!
We demand that the South East Local Enterprise Partnership make a firm commitment that they will not allocate any more public funds, from any source, to the North Bexhill Access Road beyond the £16.6m already allocated
Why is this important?
The South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) - an unaccountable and unelected body - has allocated a total of £16.6m of public money to SeaChange Sussex to build the North Bexhill Access Road (NBAR).
The road would be 2.4km long, and would therefore cost £6.9m/km. By comparison, the 5.6km Bexhill Hastings Link Road (BHLR) is currently predicted to cost £124.3m, or £22.2m/km.
So according to SeaChange Sussex, the NBAR will only cost 13% as much as the BHLR, even though it is 43% of the length. There is a very strong case to be made that SeaChange Sussex has deliberately underplayed the likely cost of the road in order to secure funding, and that more public money will be requested once construction starts.
It would not appear possible for the NBAR to be built for £16.6m, and it would seem very likely that SeaChange Sussex will return to SELEP to ask for more money at a point where the project is seen to be too far on to be abandoned. There is precedent for this locally: over the past three years, East Sussex County Council has agreed four separate increases in funding for the Bexhill Hastings Link Road. Currently, with the greenway and landscaping still unfinished, the road cost is 44% above the original predicted cost.
It would be utterly wrong to allocate yet more public money towards the polluting and destructive North Bexhill Access Road, especially at a time when public services for the most vulnerable are being cut to the bone. SELEP must refuse to grant any further funds to the NBAR.