The opening of a controversial link road has been put back with developers unable to give a new launch date.

The £113 million Bexhill to Hastings Link Road was given an opening date of May next year but work has been hampered by the weather and archaeological finds.

Developers told The Argus they hope for a mild winter to prevent further delays. A spokeswoman added that any additional costs would not be known until the extent of the delay had been established.

The three-and-a-half mile road will link the outskirts of Bexhill and Hastings in a bid to ease congestion on the A259.

It was provisionally signed off by the Department for Transport in 2009 but it was December 2012 before work began.

Developers faced setbacks as scores of protesters camped out in trees and dug tunnels along the route.

Clearing work began early in 2013 but bad weather put the project behind schedule.

Record rainfall in December 2013 and January, February, August and October 2014 saw three times the average rainfall for the area at times. Archaeologists also made a number of significant finds – more than they anticipated.

Finds included prehistoric flints, a Bronze Age field system and a late Iron Age and early Roman iron working site.

A spokeswoman for East Sussex County Council said any additional costs would only be known when the length of the delay had been established.

The project has already been hit by rising costs with an extra £13 million added to the bill in July last year.

The county council said £2.6 million of the extra costs were due to the protests.

The spokeswoman added: “We are hoping for a mild winter which will allow us to get back on track in early spring and minimise delays.

“There is a contingency built into the budget for the Link Road which covers delays caused by winter weather.

“The new link road will help bring 2,000 new homes, 3,000 new jobs and more than £1 billion of economic benefits to this part of the county.”

The Combe Haven Defenders have led opposition to the road from the outset.

Anthony Bradnum, from the group, said: “For almost two years, they have been telling us that the link road would open in May 2015.

“Now it appears that will not be the case, but the council has not seen fit to share that information publicly.

“An extended construction time is likely to lead to increased costs.

“We feel the county council should be open and upfront about the implications of this entirely predictable delay.”