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Last Updated: Friday, 23 March 2007, 10:42 GMT
Country park relief road dropped
Worth Way
Worth Way follows the route of a disused railway line
Plans to put a relief road through a country park as part of a 2,500-home building scheme in West Sussex have been dropped because of the cost.

The 157m Worth Way road would have taken the route of a current link from East Grinstead to Three Bridges used by walkers, cyclists and horse riders.

Mid Sussex District Council said it would now be looking at other options.

Tim Bull, chairman of Imberhorne Residents' Association, said the plan had been a non-starter from the outset.

"It was inevitable that they would have to drop it - the disruption to existing houses would have been extreme," he said.

The council is acutely aware of the level of strong feeling and concern generated by the Worth Way option
Mid Sussex District Council

He said the Worth Way road would have passed within 5m (16ft) of people's homes and cut into their gardens.

The route was one option in the East Grinstead Area Action Plan.

"People have had trouble selling their houses and elderly people have suffered health problems because of it," Mr Bull said.

Organisations including the Worth Way Action Group held a protest march last year over the potential loss of their countryside route.

It follows a disused railway line and part of the National Cycle Network passes along it.

Council decisions

Mid Sussex council said Worth Way was dropped following an independent assessment of costs by engineering consultants.

"The council is acutely aware of the level of strong feeling and concern generated by the Worth Way option and residents nearby are being notified in writing," it said in a statement.

Mr Bull said objectors to the area action plan were still concerned about the other options for the relief road, which passed through the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty next to Ashdown Forest.

The decision to drop Worth Way has to be ratified by the full council on 18 April.

"Further information on the traffic implications of the relief road routes will inform the decisions to be taken in the summer and autumn," the council said.

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