The Conservative Group of Councillors is taking a strong stand to save Brighton & Hove's remaining precious green land from development and is calling for section H2 of the City Plan Part 2 - which lists 16 greenfield sites in Brighton and Hove to be developed on - to be deleted in its entirety.
At the Special Council meeting on 23 April 2020 Conservative Councillor Robert Nemeth said that deleting section H2 from the Plan would be possible as after Brighton & Hove would still be 1700 dwelling above its housing targets.
This means that there is no need to build on 16 urban fringe sites which are listed in table 8, page 178 of the plan and that Brighton and Hove's previous remaining green land could be spared.
However Labour and the Greens didn't listen and still decided to vote in favour of the City Plan, putting these 16 urban fringe sites at risk.
The Conservative Group has vowed to keep fighting the City Plan Part 2 on behalf of residents and community groups as it goes through its public consultation phase.
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Councillor Robert Nemeth, who is coordinating the Conservative Group's opposition to City Plan Part 2, said:
Most are aware of the agreed minimum target of 13,200 homes – achieving which is ultimately the point of this document.
But we are currently above the agreed minimum target by over 20%.
This is not mentioned in the agenda before us and is calculated by taking the total housing supply figure of 14,875 from the Housing Provision Topic Paper from October 2019 and adjusting it to take into account increased predictions for the Hove Station Development Area following to give nearly 16,000 homes in total – or nearly 2,700 homes over.
There are only 930 homes in the whole urban fringe proposal, which could be taken out of this plan while allowing this Council to still comfortably meet its target.
From private discussions with Labour or Green Councillors, none seemed aware of this when considering support or otherwise. This is concerning. - Cllr Robert Nemeth, 23/04/20.
All 13 Conservative Group members spoke on and voted against the City Plan Part 2 and transcripts of their speeches can be found here.
Conservative Group Leader Steve Bell said that there was no question that section H2 could easily be taken out of the plan and the environment spared.
Madam Mayor it is clear that Labour and the Greens are not listening to the people who elected them. They are trying to blame the Government, No surprises there…. But this plan is still sound without H2 included” he said last night.
As the administration for the City, they are supposed to work within Government guide lines to ensure they comply but to be seen to take our best interests at heart. This plan would have worked without including H2, which if allowed to go ahead will damage forever our green fields and break of ecosystem. - Cllr Steve Bell, 23/02/20
Councillors Dee Simson and Dawn Barnett gave passionate speeches about the importance of the 16 green sites across the City, which can be found here.