Councillors to call on national park to drop legal challenge to Arundel bypass

An artist's impression of how the new A27 could look at Crossbush Picture: Highways England SUS-180515-121455001
An artist's impression of how the new A27 could look at Crossbush Picture: Highways England SUS-180515-121455001

Councillors are set to call on the South Downs National Park to drop plans to challenge the Arundel A27 route decision.

Back in May Highways England revealed a tweaked version of 5a was the option it had chosen after months of consultation.

The scheme has divided opinion. Many have welcomed the £250m investment but others have opposed the environmental impact of the proposed scheme.

Campaigners and the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) have called for a judicial review of the Highways England decision.

A crowdfunding campaign to raise legal funds has seen more than £10,000 pledged.

The move has been criticised, in particular by Nick Herbert, Arundel and South Downs MP, who called the authority an ‘unelected quango’, views echoed by James Walsh Lib Dem group leader at West Sussex County Council.

Next Wednesday (July 19) Arun district councillors are set to vote on a motion calling on the SDNPA to cease pursuing a judicial review and instead work constructively to deliver environmental quality and traffic flow improvements.

It was put forward by Conservative Richard Bower and seconded by fellow Tory John Charles.

Mr Bower said: “We wish to see the A27 Arundel bypass delivered quickly and what the SDNPA is seeking to do with a JR can only delay it.”

The full motion reads: “Arun District Council calls on the South Downs National Park Authority to cease pursuing a judicial review of the Highways England decision to recommend to the Department of Transport route 5a as the preferred route for the A27 (Arundel By Pass) and for the SDNPA to work constructively with the elected local authorities affected to deliver the environmental quality and traffic flow improvements that will follow throughout West Sussex coastal and the South Downs areas at the earliest deliverable moment.”