Views sought on Toad’s Hole Valley development

A map showing the Toad's Hole Valley site from Brighton and Hove City Council's Supplementary Planning Document
A map showing the Toad's Hole Valley site from Brighton and Hove City Council's Supplementary Planning Document

Public views on hundreds of new homes in Hangleton are being sought by Brighton and Hove City Council.

Developers are looking to build at least 700 homes, 25,000 square metres of office space, and a new secondary school on 37 hectares of greenfield land at Toad’s Hole Valley.

More than 200 people responded to a first round of consultation on proposals last year, which helped council planning officers identify the issues causing most concern, including safe access to and from the site and the need for shops and community facilities.

Now the council has published a supplementary planning document for Toad’s Hole Valley for a period of six weeks of consultation starting in February.

The document was discussed by the council’s Economic Development and Culture Committee yesterday (Thursday January 12).

Liz Hobden, planning and policy manager at the council, was keen that it should not be too prescriptive, but said that it should contain enough detailed clear guidance to ensure ‘high quality and sustainable development’.

Councillor Julie Cattell (Lab, Preston Park), who chairs the council’s Planning Committee, said: “I’m really delighted this has come forward and I hope we can get on with it. We really need these new homes.”

Councillor Robert Nemeth (Con, Wish), the Tories’ spokesman for economic development and culture, called for the document to be amended to encourage the promotion of self-build and custom- build within the scheme.

He suggested that some of the most attractive streets in the city’s suburbs feature buildings in a variety of different designs and styles.

He said that this should be encouraged, rather than adopting a corporate identikit approach employed by some of the bigger housebuilding companies.

Councillor Nemeth argued that self-build and custom-build would ensure the involvement of many more local professionals such as architects, builders, surveyors, and solicitors.

He also said that this was better than the risk of just a handful of large out-of-town businesses carrying out most of the work which would be damaging to the economy of Brighton and Hove.

His proposal won support from Green and Labour councillors, and was modified to include the encouragement of co-operative and community land trust models.

The land has been in the hands of the Cook family for generations and is co-owned with a company called Pecla Investments.

They have been working with a consultancy called Enplan which has been working on a draft masterplan for the 91-acre site. It would include rerouting King George VI Avenue.

The current timescale would see a planning application could come before councillors as early as next year.

Earlier this week the council’s Planning Committee approved a £19 million scheme by another developer to build 69 flats in four blocks, on the site of Court Farm House.

The existing buildings would be demolished on the site overlooking Toad’s Hole Valley.