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Brighton and Hove could face housing shortfall
A planning expert is warning that Brighton and Hove is heading for a shortfall of 4,500 homes.
Paul Burgess, boss at planning company Lewis & Co, has branded Brighton and Hove City Council’s house-building plans for the next 20 years “topsy-turvy”.
He has also called on the Government to reject Brighton and Hove City Council’s attempt to sidestep changes in planning rules.
The council says thousands of businesses could be forced out of the city if new planning rules allow developers to transform offices into homes.
Mr Burgess, director at the firm in Port Hall Road, said the council’s draft city plan, which will direct planners until 2030, will not provide enough homes for residents.
He has urged the council to amend the plan or face rejection by Whitehall.
The council says the city needs 15,800 new homes by 2030 but only has room for 11,300.
Mr Burgess said the city’s neighbours will not help to plug the 4,500 shortfall.
He said: “The council’s logic is topsy-turvy – it has discovered how many homes it is able to provide and made that its target, rather than finding out how many are needed and striving to achieve that figure.
“It is crucial that the city plan is as robust as it can be before it is submitted to Government.”
Tony Mernagh, executive director at the Brighton and Hove Economic Partnership, said: “You can’t plan for the future if you have no control over how much employment space you will have.
Homes and jobs balance
“The problem with the new rule is that it allows practically any and all office space to be converted on a whim, not just the old offices that no one wants.
“Checks and balances have to be applied to the equilibrium between space for homes and jobs.”
Deputy council leader Phelim Macafferty said: “The city plan is robust, practical and will bring forward sustainable development whilst providing homes, jobs, schools and other facilities that our residents and businesses need.
“The case the council has submitted to Government cautions against the prospect of the unmanaged loss of employment space when an up-to-date Employment Land Study highlights shortages across the city.”
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