By Jess Price
Recently it feels like the consultations on national planning policy have been never-ending, and whilst the Sussex Wildlife Trust Conservation Policy Team have been doing our best to respond to these, we mustn’t take our eye off local planning issues.
For the past two months, Brighton and Hove City Council (BHCC) have been consulting on their proposed submission City Plan Part 2 (CPP2) and the deadline for comment is this Friday 30 October.
We have been working hard on the Sussex Wildlife Trust’s response and will be submitting it this week. We are quite supportive of the policies in the plan - BHCC has made most of the changes to policy wording that we recommended in our response to their draft Plan consultation back in 2018, and overall the development management policies are very strong in terms of delivering for biodiversity.
However, there is a huge problem: BHCC is proposing housing allocations on several Local Wildlife Sites and even a Local Nature Reserve!
We understand that there is huge housing pressure in the city but building on these sites won’t make a significant difference to the gap in housing delivery. What it will do is set a terrible precedent for developing core areas of the City’s ecological network, some of which the council owns, right in the middle of a climate and ecological emergency.
Sussex Wildlife Trust is objecting to all the allocations on designated sites (that don’t already have planning permission). The allocation of most concern is ‘Land at and adjoining Brighton Race Course’ as this site is right in the middle of Whitehawk Hill Local Nature Reserve (LNR). As a designated LNR that the council committed to protecting for people and wildlife, the Sussex Wildlife Trust believes strongly that this allocation must be deleted from the proposed plan.
You can read more about the consultation and how to respond here. We encourage anybody impacted by or interested in the Brighton City Plan Part 2 to get involved and submit your own comments via the Brighton and Hove City Council website.