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More evictions at Bexhill to Hastings link road site

By rfowler73  |  Posted: January 29, 2013

12 more protesters have been evicted

12 more protesters have been evicted

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There have been further protests at the site of a proposed link road from Bexhill to Hastings which has led to one arrest and a further 12 evictions.

Combe Haven defenders (CHD) said that they were peacefully protesting and resisting eviction on land near Upper Wilting Farm, Crowhurst.

However, the leader of East Sussex County Council (ESCC), Peter Jones, said that the activists should "shove off" and are a "threat to democracy."

Bailiffs evicted around 30 protestors earlier this month but the protest group has continued its aim of trying to disrupt the start of clearance and construction work on the site. Its aim is to delay the work until the start of the bird-nesting season in March, when laws limit the cutting down of trees and hedges.

In total, there has been 20 arrests since the protest began in December.

Many of the protestors were still locked in tunnels and the branches of trees last night. It is believed that bailiffs will return to the site on Tuesday morning to continue the eviction.

An update on the CHD website said: "Campaigners against the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road (BHLR) have registered strong concern that the lives of a dozen activists – including the daughter of musician Chrissie Hynde, and tunneller Simon "Sitting Bull" Medhurst  – are being placed in danger tonight, as East Sussex County Council (ESCC) denies food, painkillers and respite from the strong winds to activists locked-on 40-feet up trees in Crowhurst.

"Rother District Police Commander Chief Inspector Katy Woolford contacted ESCC earlier this evening about the denial of humanitarian aid to the protesters, but Council have appear to be determined to try and starve and freeze the campaigners out of the trees. The activists have been told that the trees they are occupying will be felled if they come down."

On Sunday, Mr Jones said that the protestors represented a threat to democracy and that their actions had added a further £4.5 million in costs to the project.

He said: "These groups represent a serious threat to our democracy.

"There was a major public inquiry in 2009 when all of the arguments they are advancing now were heard. So why don't they just shove off and leave us to get on with this scheme and deliver major benefits for our communities?"

The new road links the A259 and B2092, crossing Combe Haven Valley near a site of special scientific interest.

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