Groups call for all-party support for City Plan

Council officers believe 39 sites on the urban fringe, identified by consultants, have potential for up to 1,180 homes
Council officers believe 39 sites on the urban fringe, identified by consultants, have potential for up to 1,180 homes

Housing charities and trade unions have urged councillors to unite to get the best City Plan possible.

Eight organisations - including housing charities and trade unions - have urged councillors to unite in a bid to get the best City Plan possible.

In a statement published today (Friday), they called on politicians of all parties to agree a plan that will protect Brighton and Hove’s "built environment, green spaces, communities and the local economy for years to come”.

Unless the three main parties - the Greens, Conservatives and Labour - can reach agreement, the proposed planning blueprint for the next 15 years could be thrown out by a government inspector.

Today's statement is supported by Brighton Housing Trust; Brighton and Hove Living Rent Campaign; Brighton and Hove Seaside Community Homes; Central Sussex YMCA; Co-operative Housing in Brighton and Hove; the GMB; Starlings Housing Co-operative; and Unison.

It said: "Many concerns have been expressed about the City Plan process and the housing targets set in Whitehall for Brighton and Hove City Council. However, we believe a greater risk to our city and environment is totally uncontrolled development under the government’s National Planning Policy Framework.

"Agreeing a City Plan is critical not only to ensure new housing is available and affordable to ordinary people, but also to control development on greenfield sites, protect business space from conversion to other uses, develop the local economy and meet sustainability targets."

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty, the Green Party councillor who has been leading on the development of the City Plan, said: “Our time is almost up, and I support calls for all councillors to think about the future of all our city’s residents, businesses and communities. The decisions we make in the coming weeks will leave an indelible mark on the fabric of our city, so councillors must take our responsibilities seriously.”

Councillors are set to consider proposals at the city council's policy and resources committee meeting on October 16.