City Plan takes another step forward

Further changes to the City Plan, as requested by the government appointed Planning Inspector, will take it a step closer to adoption.

Over the last few months the council has been responding to questions from the Planning Inspector to make sure the City Plan satisfies the requirements of changed national planning policies to ensure the city has an agreed Plan which will carry weight when making planning decisions.

The latest modifications, which are open for consultation from next week, take into account increased household projections published by the government, as well as changes to national policy on sustainable buildings, affordable housing and parking standards.

 Last month the Planning Inspector asked the council to look at whether the ‘objectively assessed’ housing requirement for the city needed further updating given the government’s latest household projections. The figures in the Plan are currently between 18,000 and 24,000 new homes up to 2030.  

The government published updated household projections in February and the Planning Inspector requires councils to use these as the basis to update housing need - for Brighton & Hove this now implies 30,000 new homes to 2030.

Councillors agreed last year that identifying some urban fringe land could help provide 13,200 new homes up to 2030 but that the urban fringe offers very limited opportunity for new housing.

Councillor Gill Mitchell, lead member for environment, said: “We are working hard to show the Planning Inspector that we are doing all we can to meet the national requirements and we are one of the few local authorities to get to this stage with our local plan.  We have always said that we have to be realistic about just how many new homes we can accommodate and ensure that we get a balanced plan that provides for homes and jobs as well as protection for open public space. 

“Having an agreed local plan also provides certainty to those wanting to invest in the city.”

Brighton and Hove is bounded by the sea on one side and protected Downland on the other which means that there is no scope to provide in full the revised projected numbers of new homes within the city’s boundaries. The council continues to work with neighbouring authorities to explore long term opportunities for meeting unmet housing needs and this is reflected in the further proposed changes to the City Plan.

Consultation will begin Monday 29 June on the further changes or ‘modifications’ to the City Plan. You can take part online at from that date or access paper copies at the customer service centres or the three main libraries (Jubilee, Hove and Portslade).

Closing date for comments is 10 August. All comments will be collated and sent to the Planning Inspector for review. If agreed, the City Plan will proceed to final draft in the autumn for possible adoption by the end of the year.

Updated information on the City Plan will also be available on the council’s website here