By Henri Brocklebank
Director of Conservation Policy
Sussex Wildlife Trust is delighted at the South Downs National Park Authority’s decision to apply for a Judicial Review in response to Highways England’s recent announcement of their preferred route of Option 5a for the Arundel Bypass. The preferred route destroys irreplaceable habitat and cuts through the South Downs National Park.
The South Downs National Park Authority, by calling for a Judicial Review, will be challenging Highways England that they did not take the purposes of the National Park into account when considering their road options.
Sussex Wildlife Trust attended a rally held prior to a meeting of the SDNPA board, with chants of ‘A27 - Better not bigger’ as the members arrived for their meeting. Seven members of the public had the opportunity to speak before the meeting (including Sussex Wildlife Trust's Chief Executive Dr Tony Whitbread) and together presented a wide range of reasons why this road scheme was unacceptable. The members then closed out the public for a private discussion on their options.
Over an hour later we were delighted when Margaret Paren, Chair of the Authority came and shared the news of the decision.
There is broad support for the National Park, many of the individuals and organisations present at the Rally had fought long and hard for the creation of a National Park and will continue to support the special qualities of the Park alongside the Authority into the future.