Tag Archives: Urban Fringe

Build on the city’s urban fringes?

From The Argus

Urban Fringes

A PLANNING expert has called on city leaders to build on the urban fringe and “push the boundaries” of the National Park in a bid to solve the housing crisis.

Dr Samer Bagaeen, head of the University of Brighton’s planning school, said the current City Plan was not up to scratch and said politicians would have to go back and look at it again.

The expert said: “I think the urban fringe is the key. We don’t have the space in the city. The only areas we can build the number of houses we need is on the outskirts.

“There will be those who object, but they are the ones sitting comfortably in their houses sitting back and saying ‘you know what, we’re fine, but you can’t build that there’. It’s not right.”

He was speaking about the future of the city’s housing at the Construction Voice event, run in conjunction with Brighton and Hove Chamber of Commerce, at the Sussex County Cricket Club.

Dr Bagaeen highlighted urban fringe sites around the racecourse, Woodingdean, Rottingdean and Ovingdean, as key for development along with land north of Patcham.

He added: “There will be naysayers but if we don’t do it now then we will have to do it 10 years down the line.

“We also need to look at the National Park and weigh up the needs of the city and the Park. We need to push the boundaries or certainly push against the boundaries of the National Park. It won’t be popular but we have to. People also need to get over this objection of being able to see housing from the National Park. That cannot be something to stop development.”

Appearing on a panel alongside chartered surveyor Simon de Whalley and chartered architect John McLean, he said the local authority’s City Plan, which sets out proposals for 13,200 new homes by 2030, was “half baked”. He said: “They identify sites in the city where we are going to build but I recently visited them and they are not appropriate.

“For example there is a site off Dyke Road Avenue they said could be built on, but it is so steep that many developers probably wouldn’t take it up. Toad’s Hole Valley is the biggest site but other than that there is nothing significant. At this rate we are going to be unable to meet the need for housing.”

To add to the problem, the government’s updated household projections released in February state the city now needs around 30,000 new homes by 2030. He added: “The City Plan is half baked. It needs to be looked at again.”

A council spokeswoman said the City Plan housing target of 13,200 was a “robust figure” which had been to public consultation. She added that the Urban Fringe Assessment Study, carried out last year, weighed the benefits of meeting more of the city’s housing requirements against any adverse impacts of development.

City Plan – it’s almost there?

Brighton & Hove Friends of the Earth

We have responded to the consultation on the proposed modifications to the City Plan, which ended at midnight on 16 December. While we support much of what is proposed we have issues with three main areas:

Air pollution:  despite agreeing with the Council to proposed modifications on this issue earlier in the year, recent events (European Court Ruling and emerging research) mean that the proposed wording may be unsound as it does not go far enough to reduce air pollution and act to bring it down below legal limits as fast as possible.  In fact developments could still be approved that will make it worse.

Urban Fringe development:  we have pointed out errors in the Urban Fringe Assessment which undermine the figures for housing in the urban fringe.  We have therefore questioned whether it is justified to have an allocation of 1,060 homes in the urban fringe.

Watering down of energy efficiency:  we have objected…

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City Plan Consultation launches

Brighton & Hove City Council has launched a Consultation on suggested modifications to the original City Plan to run from Tuesday 4th November until the 16th December.

Be warned, the  Schedule of Proposed Modifications is 91 pages and diagrams of planning jargon and you will need serious commitment to wade through it and make comments and suggestions in the consultation.

City Plan Agreed

From The Argus

Councillors have agreed to launch a public consultation on the future development of Brighton and Hove in a bid to stop the city becoming a developers’ “Wild West”.

Brighton and Hove City Council’s policy and resources committee voted through the City Plan to the next stage at a meeting tonight.

A six week public consultation on the document which will lay down the ground rules for development in the city until 2030 will begin on November 4.

Councillors warned that if the City Plan was not agreed decisions on development in the city would be taken out of the hands of local decision makers and create a “planning by appeal” process that developers would win.

But dissenting voices said the plan had put urban fringe places at risk by indicating sites that could be developed.

The proposals for more than 13,000 homes had first come to the committee in July but were put on hold following pressure from environmental groups.

The council’s head of planning Martin Randall told the committee that the three month delay had allowed time for “reflection and adjustment within the tight regulations” set by the Government’s planning inspectorate.

Without agreeing it, Mr Randall said the council would be in a weak position to resist inappropriate development and be at risk at losing more decisions by appeal.

The committee was told that the City Plan would protect 90% of the city’s urban fringe.

The City Plan if agreed would ensure that urban fringe sites would only be allocated for housing with further consultation and should be used to meet local housing needs through community land trusts and low-cost self-build housing.

Green Councillor Geoffrey Bowden said: “If we don’t have a City Plan in place, there will be opening to a Wild West, a developers’ paradise.

“We might as well pack up the planning department and go straight to Whitehall so there are huge dangers if we don’t agree to this.”

Labour Councillor Warren Morgan said the council had to protect the city’s allotments, parks, open spaces and urban fringe.

He said he hoped residents would use the process to tell the Government planning inspectorate what they think.

Conservative Councillor Geoffrey Theobald said the report was almost identical to the report which had come to the committee three months earlier with just cosmetic changes.

He said: “By identifying these sites and putting them in the public domain, we have given the green light to developers for our most cherished sites next to the Downs.

“We should have consulted first and come along with a sites allocated rather than this haphazard of dealing with it.

Green Councillor Ollie Sykes said that the fact the environmental groups were now supporting the City Plan which they protested against in July did show significant progress had been made.