A bold vision to protect and improve our city

Councillor Phelim MacCafferty, convenor of the Green Group on Brighton & Hove City Council
Councillor Phelim MacCafferty, convenor of the Green Group on Brighton & Hove City Council

This week Green councillors have published our response to the city’s blueprint for development, City Plan Part Two. This plan builds on the strategic vision in City Plan Part One and sets out what sort of built environment we want in the future. As important is how the city preserves and enhances those things that make Brighton and Hove a fantastic place to live.

Greens have long-argued that the blueprint for our city should create benefits which go far beyond just bricks and mortar - such as protecting our fragile environment, boosting tourism, retail and leisure.

Greens have put forward almost fifty new ideas that we believe put the community at centre stage and promote environmentally-sound development.

There is no doubt that the issues of affordable housing, climate change, a growing elderly population and air pollution require ambitious responses. Our vision puts housing, environment and jobs at its core. We are asking the Labour council to consider better designed and maintained public spaces for our city; intergenerational housing, to support our ageing population; more emergency housing; restricting the conversion of family homes into AirBnB properties; and holding developers to the highest energy efficiency and environmental standards.

We can design community wellbeing and quality of life into the fabric of our city. We can have greater involvement for communities in discussions with developers and use gaps on the high street for new business start-ups. We have focused on how our city must prioritise affordable housing, a space for nature in all development and community energy. Another delay to the development of the King Alfred has reminded us that the balance is still tipped in favour of developers. We need to ensure community needs are met in the future. Although we are constrained by damaging and short-sighted national planning rules from the Conservative government, this should not stop us from showing political leadership. We need bold new ideas for the city which we hope the Labour council will take on board.