Councillor Dawn Barnett and Councillor Nick Lewry are fighting to save Benfield Valley from development.
Benfield Valley is listed for Development in City Plan Part 2, which was voted through by Labour and the Greens at a Special Council Meeting on 23 April 2020.
Read Councillor Dawn Barnett's speech to the Special Council meeting below and sign the petition to help Cllr Dawn Barnett and Cllr Nick Lewry fight Labour and the Greens' plan to develop Benfield Valley through its public consultation stage.
Thank you Madam Mayor,
Tonight I rise to speak on behalf of environmental groups and residents in my ward of Hangleton & Knoll and across the City who are disgusted with the Labour Party and Green Party’s plan to build 100 Houses on Benfield Valley in this City Plan.
The Conservatives tonight are the only party that wants to save Benfield Valley from being built on.
Let me be clear – we as Conservatives say there must be absolutely no building on Benfield Valley and we have the total support of the Benfield Conservation Group in this.
Madam Mayor it beggars belief that Green Councillors are tonight proposing the destruction of ecologically valuable land like Benfield Valley in Brighton and Hove.
Do they realise the anxiety and concern they have created with residents and environmental groups and families that live near this land? Are they listening to environmental groups and their own members?
Caroline Lucas said last week that she supports a law of Ecocide whereby politicians that promote building on Green Land would be hauled before the international criminal courts.
Well to all the green councillors who are tonight about to vote in favour of building on Benfield Valley, it looks like that will be where you are heading if Caroline Lucas gets her way.
As the newspapers have noted over the past weeks, Benfield Valley is the last free greenfield land in Hove. It is a ‘green lung’ for our City.
It has wonderful ecological, historical and archaeological value. Children use the site for educational purposes with many school groups visiting the area. There is significant ecological value and it is a wonderful habitat for door mice and other animals. There is also the historical value of the site - you can see the piggeries from the manor site.
And we will fight all the way to save this green lung for our residents present and future.
Madam Mayor, there is absolutely no need to build on these sites when there is so much other brownfield land available in the City.
We have heard from Labour that 90% of the new housing proposed in this City Plan is on Brownfield Land. This more than meets Brighton and Hove’s targets.
Why not build on this brownfield land first before even considering touching our precious green land?
It makes no sense to develop any greenfield land in this City Plan.
Madam Mayor as you will know since I was elected in 2004 I have fought to defend Benfield Valley from development in the past and I have won every time.
And I can say to the other parties I will fight to end on behalf of my constituents to save this land.
And I say to the Green Party if you vote in favour of developing Benfield Valley it will signal the end of the Green party in Brighton and Hove.
I was on the council when the Greens used to be an environmental party that protected our South Downs and green lungs and wanted this sort of land included in national parks.
Now they are a party that just wants to build student flats on any land they can get their hands on. They are nothing but a satellite party of this Labour administration.
Shame on the Greens, shame on Labour and I will fight to the end to save Benfield Valley and all Green land in the urban fringe.