The community website for Ovingdean, East Sussex
The following statement was issued on Thursday 27th February by the Local Development Team, Brighton &n Hove City Council…
The site is adjacent to Ovingdean Road and Falmer Road, north of Longhill School, Ovingdean. The site being put forward for housing development is approx 3.7 hectares in size and does not include the playing field that serves the school. The site is privately owned and lies in the city’s urban fringe but has no national policy protection (it is outside the National Park).
The site is being promoted for the landowner by the Lightwood Strategic Development Company who appeared at the City Plan Examination in Public last October. They objected to the council’s urban fringe assessment which sought to protect this site (and others) from development given its urban fringe and open space status and proximity to the National Park.
The City Plan Inspector Ms Laura Graham has concluded that the urban fringe sites around Brighton & Hove should be looked at again for additional housing potential given the city’s very high requirements for housing. Her view is that a more positive approach should be taken to the urban fringe sites to assess whether more of these sites could contribute to the city’s housing needs.
In response to the Inspector’s comments, the council will be appointing consultants to undertake further work on assessing the extent to which the urban fringe might contribute to meeting the city’s housing requirements (20,000 new homes by 2030). This study will take account of the city’s need for open space and nature conservation but also weigh these factors against the housing need and the extent to which mitigation measures may overcome any identified constraints to development. Although identified as ‘natural/semi-natural’ open space in the city’s Open Space Study, there is no public access to this site. There are no local nature conservation designations and the site is separated from the National Park by the Falmer Road. A landscape assessment would however be required to assess the extent of any adverse impacts on the National Park.
The options for development publicised by the Argus on 27 February are part of a representation made on the City Plan by Lightwood Strategic last year. As far as officers are aware the developers are no longer promoting all of these options. Planning officers at the city council have had a formal pre-application meeting with the developers relating to the land between Ovingdean Road and Falmer Road, north of Longhill School only. This site will be assessed in full as part of the study of urban fringe land
The Lightwood Property website today (Friday 28th February) states:
The site is being promoted through the Brighton & Hove City Plan Consultation. Our proposed plan is unique in the sense that the development parcel falls outside of any prohibitive designations and allows the Local Authority the opportunity to increase housing numbers whilst protecting the sensitive policy designations. A planning application is currently being worked on which will be informed by consultation with the local community.
An exhibition to introduce local residents to the plans is to be held at Longhill School on the Tuesday 11th & Wednesday 12th March.