By Jess Price
Brighton and Hove City Council’s (BHCC) ownstates: ‘Whitehawk Hill is an ancient habitat designated a Local Nature Reserve (LNR) with areas of species-rich chalk grassland supporting colonies of Adonis and Chalkhill Blue butterflies. From the top there are panoramic views over the city to the downs and the sea, including the Isle of Wight on a clear day… Ancient chalk grassland is internationally important – it is one of Britain’s rarest and richest habitats, with threatened species including Adonis Blue butterfly and orchids’.
So why do BHCC plan to damage this vital green space byin partnership with the Hyde Group?
The Sussex Wildlife Trust completely accepts the need for affordable housing, especially in an area with such a high disparity between wages and living costs. But this should not be at the expense of one of the City’s most valuable wild spaces.
Whitehawk Hill LNR links the city with the South Downs National Park and acts as a green lung, delivering services that we all rely on including filtering our drinking water, absorbing carbon, feeding our pollinators and providing a much loved recreational space. With so little space protected for wildlife in the City, we can’t let a precedent for developing Local Nature Reserves be set.
The Homes for Brighton and Hove partnership wants local people to let them know what they think about the proposal – to help guide their planning application to BHCC – but the deadline is tomorrow 24th October. Please fill out their survey and let them know that a Local Nature Reserve is not an appropriate location for new housing.
Areas designated for their wildlife value should be cherished, not degraded.