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Our next monthly meeting takes place on Wednesday 8 February at the The Hop & Vine. Join us to find out how you can get involved in upcoming group activities.

When: Wednesday 8 February at 7.30pm
Where: The Hop & Vine pub, Fiveways, 300 Ditchling Road, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 6JG.

Click here for map and directions. Bus routes 26 and 46 stop close by the venue. 

Contact Monica if you have any questions.

Stanmer Park: an update

We’ve received the following message from a Stanmer Village resident about the proposed plans in Stanmer Park:

Just to say thank you for motivating your supporters in objecting to the proposed works in Stanmer Park, particularly for the proposed new car park on the Patchway.

So you don’t miss this in the (huge) plans, the proposed new access road to this car park would cut across the mound in front of the church, where most of the trees would be lost.Irrespective of any permanent and intrusive changes to this historically sensitive and heavily protected area, this would also result in the loss of roosting and habitat for the bats and birds that use this area, including the remaining birds of prey in the Park who forage on the rats in the barn area.

 

Downland sales halted again

City Councillors have rejected a recommendation to resume the sale of Plumpton Hill and Poynings Field. The sales had been suspended in December, as a result of widespread outrage at the prospect of flogging off these vital parts of the City’s historic 12,500 acre Downland Estate.

At a meeting on 19 January Conservative and Green councillors passed a motion requiring the sale of the two vulnerable sites to be referred to a new Policy Review Panel. The sales were intended to part-fund the controversial Stanmer Park Project and to contribute to the alleviation of the Council’s debt.

All the Downland that has been sold or is threatened with sale is within the South Downs National Park.

Keep Our Downs Public is a coalition of local people which was formed in 1994-5 to successfully fight the proposed privatisation of the whole Downland Estate by the then ruling Labour Party. A new Keep Our Downs Public group has now been formed in Eastbourne to fight similar Downs sell-off proposals by Eastbourne Council over 3,000 acres of Downland behind Beachy Head.

Join us for a photo opportunity at 3:40pm, Thursday, 19 January 2017 – outside Hove Town Hall. 

We’re outraged at the news Brighton & Hove City Council appears to be continuing with its Downland sales.  We’ll be protesting before the next meeting of the Council’s Policy, Resources and Growth committee meeting.

We’re concerned that councillors are not being given the full information and the report for the committee meeting contains inaccurate and misleading information. We want to see a full review of the Downland estate before any further sales go ahead.

The land was bought for conservation purposes and bequeathed to us to look after for our children and grandchildren.  We should not be flogging it off for a quick buck.  That is a betrayal of both past and future generations.

Chris Todd, Brighton & Hove Friends of the Earth

January meeting cancelled

Unfortunately we’ve had to cancel our January meeting – which was due to take place on Wednesday 11 January.

We’ll be back next month at the Hop & Vine at 7.30pm on Wednesday 8 February.

Hop & Vine pub, Fiveways, 300 Ditchling Road, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 6JG. Bus routes 26 and 46 stop close by the venue. Contact Monica if you have any questions.

Brighton Downland reprieved

As part of Keep Our Downs Public we welcome the council’s decision to stop the sale of vital downland around the city and review of the Council’s assets.

This is brilliant news for the people of Brighton & Hove and for our downland.  Our thanks go out to the Conservative and Green councillors who took our concerns seriously and worked together to stop these sales.

Now we need to make sure that there are no attempts to do this again. This is an opportunity for the Council to take its stewardship of the downland more seriously.  There’s far more that could be done, such as increasing access or wildlife, that would bring greater benefits for local people.

Members of our group joined protesters greeted councillors as they arrived for a committee meeting on Thursday 8 December. Our thanks also go Dave Bangs of Keep Our Downs Public, wholed a deputation to the committee about the downland sales

Come and show our objections to the Downland sales at the Policy & Resources Committee, who will be deciding at this meeting whether or not to HALT the remaining sales of two sites in our Downland estate.

Thursday 8 December at 3.30pm
Where: Hove Town Hall, Norton Road, BN3 3BQ

Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/events/1821679421382752/

The Green councillors in this committee, Ollie Sykes and Phelim MacCafferty, have entered a motion to this end.

We’ll gather at 3.30 promptly, for photos and to be there as councillors arrive for the meeting just before 4pm.. Some of us are going to the meeting, all public are welcome.

This is a critical meeting, where the final decisions on these sales may be made. Let’s show them what we think.