Conservative Group Leader Steve Bell today calls on Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas to make an urgent intervention with the Green Group of Councillors on Brighton & Hove City Council before the City Plan special council meeting on Thursday night to stop them endorsing a plan to build on 16 urban fringe green sites.
As Caroline Lucas last week voiced her support for a ‘Law of Ecocide’ that would put politicians that destroy the environment before the International Criminal Court, the Brighton and Hove City Council Greens have signalled that they are preparing to vote in favour of a City Plan which will destroy over 28 hectares of ecological land across 16 greenfield sites in Brighton & Hove’s urban fringe.
In comments from Caroline Lucas summarised in the Glasgow Times, she endorses a model for an Ecocide Law, defined in the book as:
“loss or damage to, or destruction of ecosystem(s) of a given territory(ies) such that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants has been or will be severely diminished” where “anyone responsible for destroying the environment, whether politicians or big business, should face prosecution by the International Criminal Court in the Hague.”
The two-time former Greens’ leader Caroline Lucas said:
“Polly Higgins’ groundbreaking proposal to list ecocide as the fifth global crime against peace would go a long way towards deterring and holding to account CEOs, companies and nations.
Conservative Group Leader Steve Bell CBE said that it was troubling that at the same time as Caroline Lucas calls for a law of ecocide, Green councillors were preparing to vote for a City plan that destroyed green land in Brighton & Hove’s urban fringe.
“The Conservative Group of Councillors has taken a strong stand to save Brighton and Hove’s urban fringes from development which includes numerous important natural spaces adjoining the South Downs” Cllr Bell said.
“The Conservatives are the only party committing to save the urban fringe land from development.”
“Over the past few days we have been inundated with responses from local environmental groups endorsing the Conservative position to remove section H2 from the plan entirely.” Councillor Bell said.
“These groups are disgusted by Labour and baffled by the Greens’ position.
“One local group has said that the Greens in 2002 voted to protect all urban fringe land and they simply cannot understand why they now want to go along with Labour’s plan to build on it.
“It is clear that this is not the Green Party it used to be and that they are fast becoming a satellite party of this Labour administration. They, like Labour, are now more focused on building student flats than they are on protecting green land.
“Presumably these laws endorsed by Caroline Lucas would result in Green Councillors being hauled before the International Criminal Court.
“Has Caroline Lucas, two time leader of the Greens, discussed this policy with her Group and Party leadership?
“I call on Caroline Lucas to urgently intervene before Thursday’s Special Council meeting to haul her councillors into line and save our precious green spaces” he said
In its submitted amendments to City Plan Part 2 the Conservative Group has proposed the deletion of section H2 - which lists 16 greenfield sites on Brighton & Hove’s urban fringe for development – in its entirety.
The 16 natural spaces that have been slated for development in City Plan Part 2 are listed in table 8, page 178 of the plan. They include green land adjoining open countryside and the South Downs National Park, with several sites overlapping with, or are close to, Local Wildlife Sites and underground chalk aquifers.
The Labour administration has proposed no amendments to the plan, while the Green Group’s amendments will not save urban fringe land.