Page last updated at 21:07 GMT, Thursday, 2 April 2009 22:07 UK

Inquiry to be held on A23 plans

A23 widening scheme
Fifteen alternatives to the scheme were submitted to the Highways Agency

A public inquiry into plans to widen the last unimproved section of the A23 between Crawley and Brighton will start in June, the Highways Agency has said.

The scheme for a three-lane carriageway in each direction between Handcross and Warninglid in West Sussex will cost between £76m and £105m.

The inquiry will be held at at Slaugham Manor Training and Conference Centre, Slaugham, on 16 June.

The agency received more than 150 responses to the draft plans.

They included 15 alternative suggestions to the published scheme which would pass through an ancient woodland.

The Inquiry will be held by an independent inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and the Secretary of State for Transport.

A pre-inquiry meeting will be held at Handcross Parish Hall on 21 April.

A spokesperson for the Highways Agency said: "We are talking to all the groups and individuals who suggested alternative proposals and these will be published later in the year before the public inquiry is held."

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