The cost of a controversial link road is set to increase by up to £13m.

East Sussex County Council cabinet will meet next week to discuss a proposal to increase funding to the Hastings-Bexhill Link Road because of rising construction and security costs.

Protesters described the rise as shocking, and promised to continue direct action along the route.

However, East Sussex County Council leader Keith Glazier has called on campaigners to recognise the project as a “road to prosperity” which is already attracting new investment.

The costs of weeks of protests by campaigners who stayed in trees and underground burrows has added £2.6m to the project, while construction costs have also increased by £4.5m.

There will also be another £6 million put aside for expected future costs, including £2 million which is anticipated to be needed to shore up a railway cutting.

The money comes on top of £35 million invested already by the council on design of the road, gaining planning permission, buying land, site clearance and preparatory construction work.

The council proposes to find the extra money from funds allocated to a wind farm project, an £11m over-programming fund and through council reserves.

The authority claims the £113 million, 3.8-mile road will open up 50,000 square metres of business space, generate 3,500 jobs and allow 2000 new homes to be built.


Pre-construction work has started with the demolition of buildings along London Road, Bexhill, and construction of the haul road for construction traffic.

The council report claims that closed badger setts and great crested newt trapping fences have been vandalised.

A two-week delay in relocating species along the construction route as a result of a prolonged winter mean the project has a revised completion date of May 2015.

Protesters will be holding a ‘roads to nowhere’ national rally at Crowhurst Recreation Ground next Saturday from 2pm and said there were plans to set up a new camp along the route next month.

Andrea Neetham, spokeswoman for the Coombe Haven Defenders, said: “We said all along the costs would just spiral and spiral. If they stopped now, they would probably save £90 million.

“That’s money that could be used for social care, children’s centres, things that people need and not a vanity project road that damages our countryside.”

Keith Glazier, leader of East Sussex County Council, said: “We hope the protesters will now end their action and recognise that this road has been approved at every stage of a democratic process. We hope they will recognise that the road will help boost the economy of one of the most deprived areas of the South East.”