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A full house at Selmeston Village Hall as locals discuss concerns over new A27 Dual carriageway East of Lewes

View of A27 from Mount Caburn View of A27 from Mount Caburn © SCATE

After recent confusion over plans for a new dual carriageway between Lewes and Polegate announced by local MPs Maria Caulfield and Stephen Lloyd, South Coast Alliance for Transport and the Environment (SCATE), the Folkington Estate and RH & RW Clutton presented to a ‘full house’ at Selmeston Village Hall on June 12th to talk about what is being proposed.

Chaired by David Quysner from Selmeston Parish Council, 122 local residents, parish councils and farmers attended in total. Presentations were given by Victor Ient of SCATE, Derrick Coffee of Campaign for Better Transport, Kia Trainor of CPRE Sussex and Oliver Harwood of RH & RW Clutton. Topics covered housing, environmental damage and route options put forward by Highways England at the last stakeholder meeting on 3rd May.

Supportive of Highways England’s existing ‘in line’ plans to improve safety, help traffic and improve facilities for buses, pedestrians and cyclists, many local people believe all of this could be achieved without a new 10 mile dual carriageway running its way through the network of villages at the foot of the South Downs. Misleading information about what is and isn’t being proposed has caused a lot of confusion and angst.

Ient commented; “When I attended the second Highways England Stakeholder workshop on the 3rd May, I was astonished to learn not only was it the second and final meeting, but local parish councils had not even been invited. This is not right. All we want is to be told the truth.”

Oliver Harwood, the land agent for The Folkington Estate added; “I was delighted with how many people attended our meeting – and clearly, many felt they had been left out of the authorities’ considerations. I explained not only the impact on the countryside and hugely important biodiversity with evidence from our client’s historic landscape consultants and the Sussex Wildlife Trust, but also detailed the impact of the proposed new road on local people and property. I look forward to meeting with Mrs Caulfield in due course.”

Mrs Caulfield, who had been invited to the Selmeston meeting to discuss this issue further, was unfortunately unable to attend. The organizers of the meeting have since spoken with her and been invited to meet. Mrs Caulfield has confirmed that she will also be releasing a leaflet to local residents to explain the proposed plans.

To find out more, local residents were encouraged to write to their local MP.

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