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Villagers call for a long-term plan
Villagers in a historic seafront settlement are to have greater say over the future of their area.
For more than 300 years, Rottingdean has been seen as a more quiet and serene alternative to neighbouring Brighton.
Now locals are hoping for permission to create a neighbourhood plan, claiming it will help preserve the character of the village for generations to come.
Frank Considine, of Rottingdean Parish Council, said: “It’s brilliant for the area.
“It about setting up a long-term planning aim to get the area protected from over-development while maintaining the character of the village.
“This is nothing about independence. This is about protecting the village and how best it will develop in the future.”
Brighton and Hove City Council is expected to agree to the setting up of a designated neighbourhood plan area in Sussex on Thursday at its economic development committee.
South Downs National Park Authority, which has a say over the areas of the village in the national park, must also agree the move.
A consultation will then follow before a draft plan is established and voted on by the wider community.
If approved, it would be used by the planning authority when discussing applications from developers.
Mr Considine said he hoped the setting of the plan could be opened up to anyone who lived and worked in the village, including those under 18.
It is expected a referendum would cost about £10,000.
Lynda Hyde, who represents the area on the city council, said: “The people in the area I represent are very interested in their community, as we have seen with the Saltdean Lido campaign.
“If local people can have greater say over what is happening then, in principle, I am in favour.
“I am worried about the red tape aspect but until it’s up and running you cannot tell."
The move has been made possible through the Government’s Localism Act, introduced in 2011.
While not compulsory, it gives areas the chance to set up a neighbourhood plan created by members of the local community.
Rottingdean will be the first designated neighbourhood plan area in Brighton and Hove.
Towns and villages in Sussex who have already adopted the idea include Ringmer, Burgess Hill and Arundel.
Residents in the Hove Station area are in discussions with the city council about creating a localised blueprint.
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