10 January 2014

Hove residents bid to take control of planning in their area

Residents living in the Hove Station area have submitted applications to the council to gain formal approval for a Neighbourhood Forum and a Neighbourhood Area.

It is the first time a local community has applied to take forward neighbourhood development in Brighton & Hove through a Neighbourhood Forum. Applications to develop neighbourhood areas are usually produced by parish or town councils – last year Rottingdean Parish Council successfully gained approval for the first neighbourhood area in the city.

Members of the public can view the applications at Hove Town Hall or online at: www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/hovestation.  Comments can be sent by email to neighbourhoodplanning@brighton-hove.gov.uk or by post to Neighbourhood Planning, Room 407-410, Hove Town Hall, BN3 3BQ.

Closing date for representations is Monday, 17 February.

The proposed Neighbourhood Area is an extended area north and west of Hove Station and includes schools, Hove Park, Hove Recreation Ground and allotments, the Engineerium, Goldstone retail park, Sackville Trading Estate, the Conway Street bus depot, greyhound stadium, and smaller industrial and commercial areas centred on St Joesph’s Close and Amherst Crescent. It also includes the whole of the Poet’s Corner and the residential area further west to Bolsover Road.

Councillor Geoffrey Bowden, chair of the city’s economic development and culture committee, said: “The area around Hove Station is set to see a lot of change and local people are grasping the opportunity to take control over how this should be done. The council’s planning team has been supporting residents through the process and the application for a Neighbourhood Forum is the first in Brighton & Hove.

“We hope people will have a chance to look at the proposals and comment, and maybe even be inspired to get involved in neighbourhood planning themselves.”

The City Plan, which sets out planning policy for Brighton & Hove, says that the area adjacent and to the west of Hove Station should be retained for employment. It seeks to keep the area’s focus on industrial, with some shift into office use, but also earmarks it for an additional 630 residential units in order to meet the future needs of the city and its increasing population. 

In 2012 when over 70 residents came together to discuss proposals to redevelop the Conway Street area, the community around Hove Station also signed up to producing a Neighbourhood Plan. Since then residents’ associations and community groups have been working to bring forward their application.

Following public consultation, the applications will be presented to the Economic Development and Culture Committee for a decision. If approved, residents, through the new Neighbourhood Forum, will have the power to draw up their own Neighbourhood Development Plan. The Plan would then become a formal part of the planning system, and would be taken into account when the local planning authority is deciding planning applications for the area.

Hove Station Neighbourhoods Forum welcomes new members from people in the plan area. Contact them at hovestationforum@gmail.com or visit http://www.hovestationforum.co.uk/

More information: ‘Neighbourhood Planning’ was introduced by the Localism Act 2011 and enables parish councils or resident-led forums to draw up a plan for their neighbourhood. Once a Neighbourhood Plan is approved it will be used to help decide the outcome of planning applications in the area. The Neighbourhood Plan sits alongside other planning policy (like the emerging City Plan).