Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
The Exceat Bridge project involves the realignment and replacement of the existing single lane bridge at the A259 over the river Cuckmere with a new two-lane bridge with a footway. The Project will deliver a major improvement in the highway connection between Eastbourne and Seaford. The Council needs to secure additional land for the Project. Whilst the Council is seeking to negotiate acquisition of the land by voluntary agreement, it is proposed to make a Compulsory Order in case any negotiations prove unsuccessful. As the works will cross a river and involve diversion of footpaths, it is also proposed to make a Bridge Order under the Highways Act 1980 and Side Roads Order in order to deliver the Project.
14.1 The Cabinet considered a report by the Director of Communities, Economy and Transport.
14.2 The Cabinet RESOLVED to:
1) Agree that the Council makes:
a) A Compulsory Purchase Order (“CPO”) under sections 239, 240, 246, 250 and 260 of the Highways Act 1980 and the Acquisition of Land Act 1981 for the acquisition of freehold interests (both residential and commercial), and any other interests as may arise, which are not already owned by the Council and new rights within the areas edged red and shaded pink and blue shown on the plan at Appendix 1 of the report;
b) A Side Roads Order (“SRO”) under sections 14 and 125 of the Highways Act 1980 and all other necessary powers to:-
(i) Improve, raise, lower, stop up, divert or otherwise alter existing
highways which cross or enter the route of the
replacement Exceat Bridge or will
otherwise be affected by the construction of the replacement
Exceat Bridge or as required by the
Exceat Bridge Scheme;
Construct new lengths of highway for purposes
connected with the alterations as referred to in (i) above and with the delivery of the Exceat Bridge Scheme; and
(iii) Stop up private means of access and provide replacement or new
means of access all as shown on the plan at Appendix 2 of the report;
c) A Bridge Scheme under section 106 of the Highways Act 1980 to enable the construction of the replacement Exceat Bridge over the River Cuckmere being a navigable waterway. The Bridge Scheme plans are appended at Appendix 3.
2) Agree that the Director of Communities, Economy and Transport be authorised to:-
a) Continue to take all necessary steps to secure the making, confirmation and implementation of the CPO, SRO and Bridge Scheme (together “the Orders”) including land referencing, serving any requisitions for information, preparing all necessary documentation (including the Orders and the Statement of Reasons), submission of the Orders to the Secretary of State for confirmation, the publication and service of all notices and preparing for and presentation of the Council’s case at any Public Inquiry;
b) Acquire all interests in land within
the areas of the CPO either compulsorily or by agreement;
c) Deal with objections to the Orders including agreeing terms for the withdrawal of objections in order to secure the delivery of the Exceat Bridge Scheme;
d) Negotiate and enter into agreements or
undertakings with persons with any interest in the land affected by
or relating to the Orders;
Remove from the CPO any plot (or interest therein) no longer
required to be acquired compulsorily and to amend the interests
scheduled in the CPO (if so advised) and to alter the nature of the
proposed acquisition from an acquisition of existing property
interests to an acquisition of new rights (if so
f) Make any minor amendments as are
considered necessary to the Orders arising as a result of
negotiations with affected persons or further design work to enable
the delivery of the Exceat Bridge
g) Make any amendments to the Statement
of Reasons a redacted version of which is annexed at Appendix 4 to
the report as are considered necessary prior to its submission to
the Secretary of State;
h) Confirm the CPO if granted power to do so by the Secretary of State;
the compulsory purchase powers authorised by the CPO by way of
General Vesting Declarations and/or by service of Notices to Treat
and Notices of Entry;
j) Take all steps to secure the
settlement of compensation arising from the implementation of the
Orders including referral to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber);
k) Approve on behalf of the Council the exercise of statutory powers under section 172 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 and any other legislation to enter and survey any land where required in connection with the Project.
14.3 East Sussex County Council (ESCC) as local highway authority is progressing the Exceat Bridge project (the Project) which will involve the realignment and replacement of the existing single lane bridge at the A259 public highway over the river Cuckmere with a new two-lane bridge with a footway, including reprofiling of the riverbanks and road verges.
14.4 ESCC has been actively seeking to secure the land required to deliver the Project. The Council remains committed to securing the land by voluntary negotiations with the relevant landowners wherever possible. However, the Council’s legal and property consultants have advised that a Compulsory Purchase Order should be made under the statutory powers contained in the Highways Act 1980 in case those negotiations prove unsuccessful.
14.5 It is considered that there is a compelling case for the compulsory purchase of the land and rights required for the Project and, alongside the CPO, for the making of the SRO and Bridge Scheme.
Publication date: 18/07/2023
Date of decision: 18/07/2023
Decided at meeting: 18/07/2023 - Cabinet
Effective from: 25/07/2023