Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert has issued the following statement in response to the decision taken by the South Downs National Park Authority to commence proceedings for a judicial review of the Arundel bypass preferred route:
“I am appalled by the South Downs National Park Authority’s decision to seek a judicial review of Highways England’s selection of a preferred route for the Arundel bypass.
“I believe that most local people who desperately want a bypass will be infuriated that an unelected quango is using taxpayers’ money to try and frustrate a careful planning process that has already taken years and a route option which is supported by all of the major elected councils.
“Despite repeated pleas to be balanced in its consideration, the Park Authority continues to ignore the obvious environmental benefit of a bypass that will take traffic away from the National Park and Downland villages. The existing route of the A27 goes through the National Park at Arundel, while the bypass will go through a shorter section at the very bottom.
“The Authority does not have a veto over the bypass, and there is no good reason to attempt to pre-empt a statutory public consultation and scrutiny by the independent Planning Inspectorate.
“I will be raising this use of public funds, and the role of the Authority, with Ministers and in the House of Commons.”