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Greens publish vision for development in the city as City Plan Part Two response released

Response to city development plan from Green Group made public

Green Councillors have published their response to Brighton and Hove City Council’s development plan, City Plan Part Two, including new ideas for affordable housing and sustainable transport they say will enable the city to thrive into the future.

The response submitted by Green Councillors is available to read in full online. [1]

Greens say that while councils are constrained by national planning law, the city plan must be taken as an opportunity to hold developers to the highest standards possible on issues such as sustainability, affordability and design.

Over 50 new proposals are detailed in the Green response, including:

-launching a pilot of an intergenerational housing scheme at Toads Hole Valley, to support our ageing population;

– building more supported accommodation and emergency housing, council-owned and with support services built in;

– creating a design charter and holding developers to a higher standard in energy efficient homes;

-restricting the conversion and spread of short-term holiday let homes or AirBnB property development;

–  demanding air quality provision at all development sites, not only in Air Quality Management areas;

– a space for nature in all development; with vegetation and tree planting to mitigate air pollution;

– district heat networks and a boost for community energy, so residents have warm homes and lower energy bills;

– improving public and community spaces in the city centre, to enhance walking and cycling; and a commitment that all developments will prioritise ‘car free’ access and links to public transport;

– allowing community organisations greater involvement in discussions with developers about new facilities;

– using gaps on the high street for ‘between use’ with new business start-ups;

– greater protection for the historical and heritage fabric of Brighton and Hove’s retail;

– introducing storm drains and the reinstatement of the lost flood plain in Patcham;

– stricter ecological studies for urban fringe sites, and the commitment of the most outstanding and strict environmental commitments for any development granted access to an urban fringe site; requiring no less than 100% genuinely affordable homes;

– identification of further sites in the city centre lying vacant for new genuinely affordable housing, such as above car parks or shopping centres, studies for denser housing on some brownfield sites, and truly affordable housing at the Brighton General Hospital site;

-Demanding a consistent approach to the area between the train station and Churchill square, focusing on public space, accessibility, clearer and cleaner pavements and on-foot travel; 

Convenor of the Green Group, Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty commented:

“We are pleased to be able to share our responses to the council’s development plan with the city. In our view, the challenges that lie ahead – a rising need for affordable housing, a growing elderly population, increasing air pollution and climate change –mean that a development plan for our city must be visionary and forward-thinking. It should hold developers to the highest sustainability standards possible as well as boosting community wellbeing and quality of life. That’s why Greens have focused on how future development plans can put the community at centre stage – prioritising affordable housing, green spaces, public transport and community facilities. 

“As we did with our political leadership in the City Plan Part One, Greens believe that a well-designed and well-planned built environment creates benefits which go far beyond just bricks and mortar, such as protecting our fragile environment, and boosting other areas of the economy such as tourism, retail and leisure. 

“The recent halt by developers of the King Alfred leisure centre project has again reminded us that the balance is still tipped in favour of developers. Yet we need to ensure community needs are met by future development plans. Although we are constrained by damaging and short-sighted national planning rules, this should not stop us from showing political leadership. The City Plan helps to inform planning policy, so we hope the Labour Council take on board new ideas that put our city on a path to more sustainable development.”


[1]Green Councillor Response to City Plan Part Two available in full here: 

One thought on “Greens publish vision for development in the city as City Plan Part Two response released

  1. Dear Green Group

    Thanks for this response, most welcome and long overdue. Why did it take so long to publish, the header on the report is dated September 2018?

    I was interested in what Phelim MacCafferty had to say in last week’s B&H Independent on the Greens’ response to the City Plan pt. 2 and have now briefly looked at the full response. I will read it in more detail, but for now I have a couple of comments.

    You have chosen to go with the grain of the ruling administration and focused on some key “labour issues”. This is probably sound tactics. However, I’m disappointed you didn’t couple essential environmental concerns / needs with these development themes. I don’t need to tell you what these are, but you don’t bring them out, particularly in the first parts, on Housing and Employment. It’s better by the time you get to Transport, with a stronger emphasis on related issues and you’ve stressed some of the serious concerns over the urban fringe. With the IPCC’s dire 12 year (now 11 years!) warning over catastrophic climate change, the whole document could and should have been tougher, the Renewable Energy criticism is weak, as an example.

    That’s a few critical points, which I appreciate need to be taken into account with the ruling administration’s policies, the due process that the City Plan has already gone through and national policy. However, as a Green Group, you must provide the critical challenge and push hard. This Friday school-children are striking because they are so worried about climate change and what the future holds. I am an adult, who won’t live to seriously suffer the consequences of climate change, they will. We all owe to our children, tomorrow’s adults, to turn the tide, reverse the crazy current unsustainable economic growth drive. We have to do this NOW and, in thinking globally and acting locally, it starts with our City Plan.

    Thanks for listening.

    Yours, in hope,

    Phil Belden
    11th February 2019

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