Public Inquiry – conclusion

The Inquiry closed on 2nd December 2009 with a closing statement from Rhodri Price Lewis, the QC representing ESCC. Unsurprisingly, it did not reveal the slightest appreciation of the considerable quantity of new information that had been unearthed during cross examinations. But having a QC there in an inquiry of this kind was always going to obstruct any flow of information rather than assist it.

You may have had time to read some of the excellent submissions already on the website, but more have been put in, and together with our closing submissions, these will give you an up to date picture of proceedings.This list is not final. Click on the links below to view each document.

Summary of evidence

Friends of the Earth

Peter Poole – evidence

Peter Poole – closing remarks

Hastings Alliance – closing statement

Our expert witnesses (Alan Wenban Smith and Keith Buchan) were excellent and left some serious conclusions for the Inspector to mull over. Was £100m for road really the best way to regenerate the towns and to relieve deprivation? Would all the demonstrably already successful strands of the Five Point Plan really collapse if the road was cancelled? After all, it was admitted that the University Centre is a huge success, Can it be wise to asssume that the go ahead for the BHLR is inevitable and therefore there’s no need for a Plan B? And how can the scheme go ahead anyway with only a partial consideration of alternatives, and these as ‘stand alone’ and not strategically linked?

We hope that on his final field trip, the Inspector appreciated the beauty of the water filled valley in the glorious winter sunshine of last Tuesday: that was the only appearance of the sun in the entire three and a bit weeks of the Inquiry. The Inspector thanked whoever organised it in his closing remarks.

There are many perspectives that came to light for the Inspector to note that would have never seen the light of day had we not presented our case in the way we did. Of course, it could have been done better, but everyone taking part for us did a grand job! Thanks.


We understand that the Inspector’s report will be completed in mid/end February but will not be published before being passed on to the two Secretaries of State (John Denham, Department of Communities and Local Government), and Lord Adonis (Department for Transport). When or if it will be published is not clear at the moment. A ministerial decision will follow as the general election looms……

View our photo album

View our photo album here. This is why we need to save the Combe Valley.

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