4 November 2014

Give your views on proposed changes to the City Plan

From Tuesday, 4 November, residents, employers and organisations across Brighton and Hove have the opportunity to give their views on proposed changes to the City Plan, which sets out a planning framework for homes and jobs in the city to 2030.

The proposed changes, agreed by the Policy & Resources Committee on 16 October, increase the housing target for the city and open up the potential for limited housing development on a small part of the urban fringe to help address local housing needs. Other modifications relate to the Brighton Marina and sustainable buildings policies and are being made to address concerns expressed by the independent planning inspector currently examining the plan.

From today, 4 November, people can comment on the proposed changes to the Plan. Anyone wishing to take part in the consultation can do so online where you can also view the plan, supporting documents, guidance on how to make representations, and ‘frequently asked questions.’

Documents are also available at the customer services centres in Bartholomew House and Hove Town Hall as well as libraries or you can post comments to the LDF team at Brighton & Hove City Council, Room 201, Kings House, Grand Avenue, Hove, BN3 2LS.

The Planning Inspector, whose job is to make sure the city is doing everything possible to meet the city’s future housing needs, considered that the council should make a more rigorous assessment of housing potential from the urban fringe (the open space between the built up area boundary and the National Park) in order for the City Plan to be assessed as ‘sound.’  

Without a ‘sound’ local Plan, the council would be in a weak position to resist inappropriate development across the city. This would undermine the positive and balanced approach to future growth.

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty, chair of the planning committee, explained: “This is our residents’ opportunity to tell the inspector what they think of the government’s requested changes to the Plan.

“The city needs an adopted City Plan to guarantee future generations a balance between land for housing, jobs, and open spaces – including protection for over 90 per cent of our urban fringe.”

Closing date for comments is 16 December after which all the representations will be considered by the Inspector.


Background

Every local authority has to demonstrate how it is going to meet future housing needs in order to have its local planning policies agreed by the government.

The Inspector indicated in her initial conclusions letter to the council that in light of the city’s significant housing shortfall between planned housing provision (11,300) and objectively assessed need (now 24,000) she needs to ensure the city has done everything possible to try and close that gap.

At this stage the council is being asked to agree the number of new houses in the city that could come forward from the urban fringe but not the formal allocation of individual sites.

As well as residents being able to comment on the proposed changes to the City Plan there will be another opportunity for them to make their views known during the preparation of Part 2 of the City Plan. This is where further detailed assessment of urban fringe sites will be undertaken. This might include, for example, considerable archaeological or ecological constraints identified through detailed survey work, lack of site availability or previously unforeseen environmental factors including flood risk or contamination.  

Should planning applications come forward on urban fringe sites then residents will be able to object to the planning application.