- Late modification sees land adjoining Horsdean Recreation Ground recommended for deletion from the City Plan Part 2.
- Patcham Ward Councillors say decision is a big win for the 1,604 residents who signed a petition calling for the green space to be saved.
- The Council’s 10 year development plan has now been submitted to the Planning Inspector for Independent Examination.
The Conservative team of Patcham Councillors has today welcomed an eleventh-hour modification to Brighton & Hove City Council’s City Plan Part 2 that has saved Horsdean Recreation Ground from development.
The recommendation to delete the 1.17 ha site from the City’s development plan came after a fresh urban fringe study was undertaken following ecological concerns raised by Conservative Councillors.
The Patcham Community has been strongly against development of Horsdean Recreation Ground, with 1,604 local residents signing the Patcham Councillors’ petition against the development.
City Plan Part 2 had been voted through by the Labour and Green Coalition on Housing in a Special Council Meeting in April 2020, with the Conservatives voting against over concerns on the plans to develop 16 urban fringe sites.
Patcham & Hollingbury Ward Councillor Alistair McNair said that he was delighted with the modification to the plan and said that it was a win for the community.
“I am pleased that Council Officers have listened to the voice of the 1,604 residents who signed the petition and removed this site from the City Plan” Cllr McNair said.
“The revised urban fringe study acknowledged the significant impact on the Local Wildlife Site (LWS) on the basis that adequate ecological mitigation and biodiversity net gains would not be possible.
“There can be no justification for building on the precious urban fringe in Patcham Ward when the Council’s own figures show there are more than enough brownfield sites available to meet the council’s minimum housing target.
“The City Plan proposes to build 13,200 homes before 2030. Land for 15,100 homes has already been identified without the need to build on any of the urban fringe sites.
“The City can therefore meet these targets without destroying woodland and open spaces that we need to tackle climate change and increase biodiversity.
“This is a good result for ecology and democracy” he added.
Patcham & Hollingbury ward Councillor Carol Theobald said that the Conservatives were the only party in the City that wanted to protect the urban fringe from development.
“Our Conservative Team in Patcham has always worked to protect the urban fringe from development and our local approach of working with the backing of our residents has succeeded once again” Cllr Theobald said.
“Previously we managed to exclude the proposed development site at 46 to 54 Old London Road from the City Plan (we all know it as the McCarthy and Stone site).
“Now we are delighted that our community petition has secured a modification to delete Horsdean Recreation Ground from the City Plan.
“It is disgraceful that Labour and the Greens voted together to include the Horsdean Recreation Ground site in the City Plan Part 2 and I am pleased that it has now been removed following our community campaign.
“We will continue to work for the removal of the Ladies’ Mile site in Carden Avenue which was also included in our petition” she added.
Newly elected Patcham & Hollingbury Ward Councillor Anne Meadows said that the result demonstrated how a strong Conservative team could achieve for residents.
“This was a major issue at the recent by-election in Patcham and Hollingbury and I was the only candidate to campaign against building on this site, with the Greens and Labour taking a pro-development stance” Cllr Meadows said.
“The success of the Patcham Councillors’ petition shows what a strong and clear Conservative voice for conservation, backed by the residents, can achieve on the Council.
“We have said all along that there is more than enough brownfield land to meet our housing targets. The statistics bear this out and the Sussex Wildlife Trust agrees. The recent addition of the Preston Road site to the City Plan Part 2 only strengthens this argument.
“The urban fringe in Patcham, including Ladies Mile, needs to be protected and your strong Conservative team in Patcham and Hollingbury will continue to campaign for residents on this” Cllr Meadows said.
Further Information (Extract from Council Briefing Document):
Proposed Changes (Modifications) for the Inspector to Consider
The council will formally request that the appointed Inspector recommends any changes (known as modifications) to CPP2 which are required to rectify matters that would otherwise make the Plan unsound/not legally compliant and thus incapable of being adopted.
A proposed schedule of modifications (Ref: SD02) has been prepared for the Inspector to consider during their examination of the Plan:
- Many are minor modifications e.g. editorial updates/ correcting typographical errors.
- Proposed main modifications are put forward for a number of retail policies (DM12- DM16) to address changes to the Use Classes Order that came into effect last September and also to address the government’s proposed route map for the Future Homes Standards and Future Building Standards.
- Main modifications are proposed to Policy DM37 Green Infrastructure and Nature Conservation to ensure the wording better accords with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and addresses Natural England’s representation.
- Updates to H1 Housing and Mixed Use Sites are proposed in response to housing completions since April 2020 and representations regarding availability of sites. Two omissions sites have now been included following a site assessment process: Land at Preston Road / Campbell Road, Brighton and 154 Old Shoreham Road, Hove
- In response to urban fringe housing sites (H2) representations an Urban Fringe Assessment (UFA) Update 2021 was commissioned (Ref: ED24). The study reviewed general representations and those relating to specific sites where ecology issues had been raised and updated ecological assessments for specific sites where ecology was raised as a concern. Updated survey work supports the previous UFA conclusions except for:
- site 16 (land at and adjacent to Horsdean Recreation Ground) which is now proposed for deletion in Policy H2. The CPP2 site allocation threshold is 10 units and the review concluded the site was unlikely to be suitable for more than 5 units – a higher number would have a significant impact on the Local Wildlife Site (LWS) on the basis that adequate ecological mitigation and biodiversity net gains would not be possible
- site 46a Land at former nursery, Saltdean - a boundary amendment and a reduction in the potential number of dwelling units from 24 to 18 units is now proposed following representation by the landowner and consideration by the study of the need to retain existing vegetation around the northern and western boundaries.
- There are no changes proposed to the ‘Land at and adjoining Brighton Racecourse’ site. The 2021 study stands by the earlier assessment that the Local Nature Reserve does not meet the NPPF criteria for Local Green Space designation being a considerably larger and more extensive area than the listed Local Green Space sites in Policy DM38.
- The 2021 study concludes that the proposed scale of housing at Benfield Valley (SA7) can be accommodated without significant ecology impacts, subject to the specific mitigation. The proposed housing allocation covers only a small proportion (about 5%) of the Local Wildlife Site (LWS) and development would be focused within areas of lower ecological value.
The Proposed Submission Plan remains unchanged from that agreed by Council April 2020. The inspector will consider the proposed modifications during the examination alongside other alterations to the Plan that they consider may be necessary to make the Plan ‘sound’, including modifications proposed by objectors. The Inspector’s Main Modifications - where they relate to a major shift in policy - will then be brought to the Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture (TECC) Committee before they can be formally consulted upon.