THE FUTURE of a £15 million road scheme has been thrown into doubt after a council quashed its planning permission following a legal challenge.

Hastings Borough Council has said it will have to look again at the SeaChange Sussex's £15m Queensway Gateway after conceding it made an error while granting planning permission in February.

The council was due to appear in the High Court for a judicial review hearing this week brought by St Leonards' resident Gabriel Carlyle.

But the authority has decided that pursuing a defence to the legal challenge would not be in the interests of “council tax payers”.

Protesters have raised concerns about the impact the road building project through Hollington Valley local wildlife site and potential breach of national and EU laws on air pollution.

Mr Carlyle said: 'I am delighted that Hastings council has recognised that they made an error of law in granting planning permission for this destructive road.

“I hope that the council will now consign their road plans to history, and commit to properly preserving our green spaces.”

A Hastings Borough Council spokesman said the High Court had ruled the majority of Mr Carlyle's arguments as “misconceived”.

He added: "However, we do accept that the report which went to our planning committee in respect of the 'Queensway Gateway' road did not draw committee members' attention to the policy regarding air quality. It should have done, and we apologise for this omission.

"We do not think that it is in the interests of local council tax payers for us to continue lengthy and potentially costly legal debate and so we have agreed to reconsider the scheme again at a further planning committee meeting."