City Plan reaches final stage

The plan that sets out Brighton & Hove’s land-use priorities for the next 20 years could soon be used to guide planning decisions in the city.

Councillors will decide whether to ‘adopt’ the City Plan Part One at the council meeting this Thursday, 24 March. If agreed, the Plan will replace a number of policies in the Brighton & Hove Local Plan (adopted 2005) and will be used when considering planning applications.

When adopted the City Plan will give communities more certainty about how the city will grow and develop. There will be a clearer set of policies to assist applicants and for making planning decisions.

It was put together following extensive local consultation and reflects local priorities for future development. It sets out how to make the best use of available land in the city, how to enhance its natural and built heritage and create the homes and jobs that people need, together with infrastructure and community facilities.

Crucially the Plan will ensure local decisions are influenced by local priorities. Without the City Plan, planning applications would have to be decided against national planning policies, taking control of what happens in the city away from local residents and businesses.

Last month an independent planning inspector found the City Plan legally sound and compliant and on Thursday 17 March the City Plan was recommended for approval by councillors at the Policy & Resources Committee.

The locally-agreed policies in the City Plan include having low-cost housing available as part of major developments, high quality design, the right infrastructure to service new homes and employment areas and environmental measures such as efficient water and energy use. It sets out a rolling five-year supply of housing land which will put the city in a stronger position to protect strategic employment sites and open space.

There is also specific guidance for individual areas to help give certainty and confidence to the development industry and ensure timely development of regeneration sites such as Preston Barracks and King Alfred.

Councillor Gill Mitchell, chair of the city’s environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “The City Plan Part One is fundamental to our future prosperity.

“At a time when the development industry is recovering from recession, the City Plan will be essential for guiding and encouraging investment that will bring the affordable homes, new jobs, health, education and leisure facilities and transport improvements that the city needs to include all its citizens in the future prosperity of Brighton & Hove.

“It will help ensure there is the right balance between homes and jobs which is vitally important in Brighton & Hove where there is limited space but a significant housing need.

“Having a strong City Plan will also support the city as an important economic growth hub for the wider region.

Work can now progress on Part Two of the City Plan, with its detailed policies and site allocations which will make sure the city has a clear and up to date local policy framework.

More information

Local Plans have to be agreed with the independent Planning Inspector before they can be locally adopted. The adopted Plan and the Inspector’s Report for Brighton & Hove’s City Plan can be viewed here

Policies in the adopted Brighton & Hove Local Plan (2005) due to be replaced on adoption of the City Plan Part One are listed in Annex 4 of the City Plan.

Brighton & Hove’s housing target is 13,200 new homes to 2030. It does not meet the city’s assessed housing need in full, but the Inspector acknowledged it reflects the city’s significant land constraints.

The Plan can only be adopted in accordance with the conclusions of the Inspector’s Report. See previous story about the Inspector’s conclusions

Part Two of the City Plan will contain the remaining site allocations and development management policies. Issues and Options consultation is due to take place later this year.

View the reports for the Council meeting here (City Plan is Agenda item number 105)