8 February 2018

Land south of Ovingdean Road - Planning Committee decision

Brighton & Hove’s Planning Committee has decided not to defend its decision to refuse a planning application for 45 homes on land south of Ovingdean Road after considering legal advice.

The refused planning application is subject to a planning appeal due to commence on 24 April. The discussion on 7 February included legal advice relating to a live appeal so had to be held in a confidential session.

Councillors were recommended to withdraw two of the four reasons for refusal (below) and to then consider the resulting planning balance of the appealed proposal. Weighing up the planning benefits the scheme would bring against the remaining reasons for refusal they agreed that the Local Planning Authority should no longer defend the planning appeal. Unreasonably defending a planning appeal can lead to an award of costs.

Chair of the Planning Committee, councillor Julie Cattell said: “I recognise that this was a difficult decision for the Planning Committee. Our decision to refuse the application still stands and the appeal hearing will proceed. We appreciate that there is very strong public interest in the application and residents will be able to make their representations to the Planning Inspector who will ultimately determine the application.”

The planning application is for outline planning permission to build 45 one to five bedroom houses on land south of Ovingdean Road on the urban fringe of the city. The application proposes that 40% should be affordable, split between homes for rent and shared ownership.

A decision to refuse the application was made in May last year for the following summarised reasons: 

  1. Harmful impact on ecology and biodiversity; 
  2. Harm caused to setting of Ovingdean and Rottingdean Conservation areas and loss of gap between the villages; (withdrawn)
  3. Increase in traffic would have a harmful impact on the Air Quality Management Area (AQMA); (withdrawn)
  4. Overdevelopment and loss of local landscape character.