Brighton & Hove Friends of the Earth (BHFOE) is calling on Brighton & Hove City Council to agree to the revised modifications to the City Plan. These are due to be considered at Policy & Resources Committee on Thursday. While BHFOE remains concerned about the threat to the urban fringe, a greater threat would be had by having no City Plan at all. In addition, the Council is proposing to delete its previous amendment to the urban fringe Policy SA4 which would have allowed development on any proposed housing site listed in the Urban Fringe Assessment.
BHFOE is reassured that this is no longer the case and urban fringe sites will be scrutinised and subject to further consultation before they can be allocated for development.
Chris Todd from BHFOE said:
“While we are not entirely comfortable with the place we are in, the Council is between a rock and a hard place. Without a City Plan it would find it increasingly difficult to resist unsuitable development right across the city, not just in the urban fringe. Also it would be more susceptible to losing planning appeals and having costs awarded against it.
“We would much rather the focus be on brownfield development but the time for that debate is over at this stage in the process. The inspector has specifically asked the Council to review the urban fringe and if they had not done so the Plan would have been found unsound.
“By supporting the adoption of the City Plan, we are not agreeing to sites being developed. That is a battle which we will need to gear up for on another day to safeguard our parks and allotments from inappropriate development.
“We fully appreciate that some politicians are in an uncomfortable position and are grateful for their support last time round in getting the Council to rethink its policy. However, we now need them to step up to the plate and agree this Plan for the greater good, just as we have done.”