Letter from Samuel Watling of Brighton YIMBY, Manor Hill, Whitehawk.
Your article ‘Campaigners protest over flats plan for Whitehawk Hill (December 7)’ misrepresents local attitudes and the housing situation in Brighton.
The vast majority of Brighton’s inhabitants want an increase in the provision of affordable housing. This is understandable, rents have increased 15 per cent since 2015, which is pricing people out of this city and contributing to skyrocketing levels of homelessness. This sentiment extends to Whitehawk as well.
Therefore, it is inappropriate to imply that the limited number of residents who oppose the building of 217 desperately needed affordable flats on Whitehawk hill are in anyway representative of Brighton’s population.
This is a small group of local NIMBY’s who number around the dozens, and are definitely not able to gather a protest of 100 people despite their claims.
This can be seen in the limited number of protestors present in the photos they have sent.
Whether the site at Whitehawk hill even counts as local green space is questionable. Even the Whitehawk campaigner’s site concedes that the site has been continually neglected.
Most local residents I have spoken to do not use the path on a regular basis, citing the poor quality of the path and surrounding area and resulting safety concerns. The parts of the Whitehawk Green space that is either environmentally valuable or treasured by local residents, such as the areas used for sports or to graze animals, will not be affected, and will in fact have access in improved by the paths provided by the development.
Samuel Watling, Brighton YIMBY.