City Plan Part 2 puts local communities centre stage

Communities across Brighton & Hove will soon have a further opportunity to comment on the second part of the city’s local development plan. It will sit alongside the adopted City Plan Part 1 to support the provision of more new low-cost homes, local jobs and transport, and health facilities over the next decade.

At the Tourism, Development and Culture Committee on 21 June (agenda item 9), councillors agreed to open the draft City Plan Part 2 to public consultation from 5 July to 13 September*.

City Plan Part 2 focuses on good management of development and ensuring good design, high quality and sustainable development; and through site allocations will help implement the strategy for future growth of the city as set out in the City Plan Part 1. The draft City Plan Part 2 builds on earlier consultation and stakeholder engagement undertaken in Summer 2016.

Councillor Julie Cattell, lead member for planning policy, said: “Our draft City Plan Part 2 is still in the early stages of its preparation so we encourage everyone to share their views on the council’s preferred approach to make sure it reflects the needs of local people.

“City Plan Part 2 is focused on ensuring communities reap the benefits from well-designed development. Crucially it will help new developments provide a variety of housing that offers a choice of good quality and affordable homes to buy or rent.

“Having a complete and up to date local plan is important because it will enable Brighton & Hove to have local policies that will carry weight when making planning decisions.”

Policies bringing in minimum internal space standards and usable outdoor space for new housing together with a range of housing types, from self-build homes to homes for older people and wheelchair-friendly properties will greatly improve the range, affordability, quality and choice for city residents.

The housing policies in City Plan Part 2 propose tougher controls on houses of multiple occupation (HMOs), further restricting their concentration by looking at impacts on the immediate vicinity and also wider community. The Plan ensures well designed, purpose-build student accommodation and identifies two further sites where it can be built.

A total of 85% of housing sites will come forward on brownfield sites and some urban fringe sites have been identified to provide a positive opportunity to build family and affordable homes, as well as create improved and publicly accessible open space.

Most (more than 90%) of the urban fringe is however protected as green space in the City Plan Part 2 and there will be four new local green spaces to further protect open space and habitats next to urban areas.

Encouraging new and safeguarding community facilities is also at the heart of City Plan Part 2. A new policy will help protect public houses as community benefit. Important shopping parades that provide people with access to facilities like newsagents and pharmacies within walking distance of home are recognised and developers will be encouraged to seek community energy partners or install heat networks to provide low carbon and low cost energy for residents.

The number of planning policies has been reduced to make it simpler for people to use the City Plan when making and reviewing planning proposals.

City Plan Part 2 contains 46 development management policies and 59 housing sites (14 clusters in the urban fringe). It allocates seven additional strategic development sites and two new purpose built student housing sites. City Plan Part 2 identifies sites for 3,611 new homes to help meet the city’s housing target. City Plan Part 1, adopted in March 2016, set out the city’s strategic housing target of 13,200 homes to 2030. This will be achieved through site allocations from both parts of the City Plan, sites already delivered, those under construction and contributions from smaller and windfall sites.

When adopted, the City Plan Part 2 will become part of the formal decision-making process of deciding planning applications, replacing the 2005 Brighton & Hove Local Plan policies. City Plan Parts 1 and 2 will run to 2030.

*During the same period, communities and residents will also be able to give their views on a proposed Urban Design Framework (UDF). The UDF will provide planning guidance that will help shape buildings and spaces for people