Community Stadium - History

Brighton and Hove Albion sought planning permission for their proposed Community Stadium at Falmer in October 2001. The council's Planning Applications Sub-Committee were "minded to grant" approval in June 2002. The application was then called in by the Secretary of State and a public inquiry held in 2003. Following this inquiry the Secretary of State concluded that he needed further evidence concerning the suitability of alternative sites. A second inquiry took place in early 2005 and considered seven alternative sites, concluding that none was suitable for a new stadium.

In October 2005 the then Secretary of State, John Prescott, issued a planning permission for the stadium at Falmer. This was challenged by Lewes District Council and others on a number of grounds. One of these was that the Secretary of State had made an error of fact in his decision. The permission was withdrawn in November 2006.

On 20 November 2006, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Ruth Kelly) invited parties to make further representations to enable her to reconsider the applications by Brighton & Hove Albion to build a community Stadium at Falmer.

Representations were submitted in February 2007 by the city council, the football club, Lewes District Council, Falmer Parish Council and several other bodies and individuals. The city council's representations are under "February 2007 Representations" below.

In March 2007 the Secretary of State invited comments on the representations made by other parties. The city council's comments are set out under the four headings below which refer to the four issues identified in the Secretary of State's letter of November 2006.

a) the location of the site in relation to the built up area of Brighton. These comments relate to points raised by Lewes DC and the South Downs Joint Committee. They primarily cover the interpretation of policies in the Brighton & Hove Local Plan and the Brighton Hove and East Sussex Structure Plan.

These comments relate to points raised by Lewes DC and the South Downs Joint Committee. They primarily cover the interpretation of policies in the Brighton & Hove Local Plan and the Brighton Hove and East Sussex Structure Plan.

The full documents on this point are :

b) the effect on the planning applications of Planning Policy Statement 7 (development in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty). These comments concern two main issues the interpretation of PPS7 and the regeneration arguments. The city council believes that Lewes DC and Natural England have, in their representations, misinterpreted PPS7 and the council's comments set out what it believes to be the correct interpretation. The council then comments on the regeneration arguments which have been made by Lewes DC and Falmer PC.

These comments concern two main issues the interpretation of PPS7 and the regeneration arguments. The city council believes that Lewes DC and Natural England have, in their representations, misinterpreted PPS7 and the council's comments set out what it believes to be the correct interpretation. The council then comments on the regeneration arguments which have been made by Lewes DC and Falmer PC.

The full documents on this point are :

c) the merits of alternative sites, but in particular Sheepcote Valley and its accessibility. Lewes DC submitted as part of its representation in February a Transport Assessment which purported to demonstrate that Sheepcote Valley is a suitable alternative site and that it can be accessed without disruption to the public transport and highway network. The council commissioned Colin Buchanan and Partners Ltd to comment on this. Their report Appendix C1 identifies a number of serious flaws which the council believes are sufficient to make a proposed statium at Sheepcote Valley unworkable for transport reasons.

Lewes DC submitted as part of its representation in February a Transport Assessment which purported to demonstrate that Sheepcote Valley is a suitable alternative site and that it can be accessed without disruption to the public transport and highway network. The council commissioned Colin Buchanan and Partners Ltd to comment on this. Their report Appendix C1 identifies a number of serious flaws which the council believes are sufficient to make a proposed statium at Sheepcote Valley unworkable for transport reasons.

The full documents on this point are:

d) any new matters or changes of circumstances which are material. This section responds to comments on the proposed designation of the South Downs National Park and other issues relating to a proposed stadium at Sheepcote Valley.

This section responds to comments on the proposed designation of the South Downs National Park and other issues relating to a proposed stadium at Sheepcote Valley.

The full documents on this point are:


February 2007 Representations

Original representations submitted by council in February 2007 are below: