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Brighton and Hove blueprint till 2030 approved
The future of Brighton and Hove has been mapped out after a key town hall debate tonight.
The City Plan will guide the development of housing, offices, shops and public transport until 2030.
Despite opposition from some and heated debate with others, town hall bosses believe the document has struck the right balance to meet all the city's future needs.
Green and the majority of Labour councillors voted for the amended plan while the Conservative group abstained.
Hangleton and Knoll councillor Brian Fitch was the only member to vote against it due to the plan to develop Toad's Hole Valley, an undeveloped site in Hove.
Among the key headlines are:
- Housing target of 11,400 homes;
- Agreement to build on Toad's Hole Valley in Hove;
- No park and ride;
- Enough employment space so city can become "powerhouse of the region";
- Key redevelopment sites, such as King Alfred, Shoreham Harbour and Lewes Road corridor, identified;
- Protection for Brighton centre as a retail and office area.
When introducing the plan, deputy council leader Phelim MacCafferty said: "I believe the plan will carry us on the right path to 2030.
"We need to balance our desperate need for homes and jobs while protecting open spaces."
He added: "Be in no doubt we're doing the right thing."
Council leader Jason Kitcat said: "Once in a generation does a decision like this come before us in the council "This will affect our residents and visitors today and those not yet born.
"We have risen to the challenges of the plan."
A series of amendments were presented by opposition councillors during the three and half hour debate.
The Conservative group were unhappy that three of its amendments were rejected by planners for being "unsound".
This included a plan to delay building on Toad's Hole Valley until 2020 when all brownfield sites had been exhausted.
Conservative group leader Geoffrey Theobald claimed it was "Stalinist".
He said: "It's a sad day for democracy when fundamental decisions are being taken by officers that were not elected. That cannot be right."
Labour group leader Gill Mitchell said she was "broadly supportive" to the plan.
She added: "Difficult decisions have to be made if the city is to grow and people securely housed."
PARK AND RIDE
The City Plan proposed dropping park and ride as an option for Brighton and Hove in the future.
Town hall bosses said there was not enough land or money to make it happen in the next two decades.
However the Labour group proposed it was reinstated.
But Ian Davey, transport committee chairman, said: "Park and Ride is simply undeliverable.
"In times of austerity it's an expensive and inefficient use of public money particularly in an era of declining car use."
He added the South Downs National Park Authority agreed with its position, claiming the Labour group was simply "cutting and pasting" it's previous policy.
TOAD'S HOLE VALLEY
The 47 hectare site nestled between King George VI Avenue and the A27 in Hove has remained undeveloped for hundreds of years.
But city planners claims the only way of meeting its housing target of 11,400 homes was to include it in the plan.
This was 7,000 properties below the Government target.
The Green administration believes the plot could hold an "carbon-neutral" development including 700 homes, a secondary school, business park and transport links.
But more than 2,000 people opposed the inclusion claiming it would destroy wildlife and increase pollution.
Coun Brown claimed it would lead to a "complete ruination of the west part of our city".
Noel Sladen, speaking on behalf of residents in Goldstone Valley, said: "Changes in policy are always an option for you.
"We take comfort that when mass opposition took place last summer to the removal of the evening 81 bus service this led to a reversal of a policy which was much appreciated.
"We beg you not to ignore the views of the residents. We need to protect our green sites and not abuse the position of trust we have for our environment."
However, there were no amendments presented to alter the situation at tonight's meeting after Coun Fitch could not find a seconder.
The City Plan earmarks eight areas across Brighton and Hove as key places for mixed-use redevelopment.
These include Lewes Road corridor, Shoreham Harbour, Brighton Marina, King Alfred and the Eastern Road corridor.
The document also includes six special areas which it wants to protect, which includes the seafront and South Downs.
The local authority also wants to protect Brighton city centre to ensure it remains the focal point for offices and retail.
To avoid “studentification” of areas, quotas will be enforced on the number of student houses in areas such as Coombe Road, Bevendean and Hanover.
The council has also relaxed restrictions which prevent hotels becoming homes unless they have been empty for five years.
However, a Hotel Core Zone will remain between Regency Square and Bedford Street.
The City Plan will be published for a six week formal consultation before being submitted to the Government in April.
It is expected the Planning Inspector will examine Brighton and Hove's City Plan in the autumn before possible adoption in February 2014.
1) Zoned approach to car free housing - should be restricted to city centre with good public transport links - REJECTED
2) Affordable housing - revert back to current policy of 40% affordable housing on sites of ten units of more - REJECTED
3) Housing densities - flexible targets for locations across city - APPROVED
1) Brighton station - recognise importance of area as major transport hub - APPROVED
2) Support for Brighton Main Line 2 project, opening up direct line from the city to London via Lewes and Uckfield - APPROVED
3) School places - work with groups to ensure sufficient provision either through new or expanded schools - APPROVED
4) Relax sustainability aspect in new builds to not hinder development - APPROVED
5) Edward Street/Eastern Road - re-route traffic away from area before Royal Sussex County Hospital revamp - APPROVED
6) Further protection for urban fringe, the green spaces inside bypass - APRROVED
7) Reinstate park and ride - REJECTED
8) Call for extra care housing - APPROVED
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