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Below is the latest news release on urban housing from BHFOE:

Urban fringe under scrutiny for housing

Inspector asks for more detailed analysis of urban fringe housing potential

The inspector, Laura Graham, handling the inquiry into the Brighton & Hove City Plan, has questioned whether such a restrictive approach to development in the urban fringe is justified given the shortfall in housing provision [1].  She has said that the Council needs to provide a more detailed assessment of the urban fringe’s potential for housing and whether a more relaxed approach could be taken.  In challenging the Council’s position, she has cited the National Planning Policy Framework as requiring to provide for development needs “unless any adverse impacts in doing so would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits…”

BHFOE is concerned that this could lead to the loss of a large number of small but important green pockets around the urban fringe which form part of a wider green network and links to the National Park.  It is concerned that the amount of housing that might be provided is likely to be small, but the loss to green networks huge.  It is concerned that the inspector might not place the same value on these green spaces as the local community, and might not agree about the impact on the setting of the National Park.

Chris Todd from BHFOE said:

“There is no doubt that the future of many parts of the urban fringe could now be under threat from development.  Unless the Council provides a robust defence of these sites they could be lost forever.  It is likely that the amount of housing that could be provided is marginal to the city’s overall needs, yet the loss of green space for local communities could be devastating.  Any development around the edges of the city, also has the potential for significant impact on the National Park.

“This highlights more than ever that localism is nothing more than a sham.  Although central government has abolished regional strategies and targets, it is still dictating housing numbers to local planning authorities.  This has to change.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

[1]   The inspector Laura Graham, wrote to Brighton & Hove City Council on 22 July, 2013 outlining a few issues for the Council to consider:  http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/sites/brighton-hove.gov.uk/files/ID-01%20Letter%20to%20Council%20June%202013.pdf

Media Contact:  Chris Todd  01273 553044  or  07889 302229

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