A campaign to save a stretch of green land running alongside a railway line has been launched.

Developer Kingsbury Estates wants to built houses on allotments near London Road in Brighton.

But community campaign group Friends of London Road Old Railway Allotments (FLORA) are fighting the proposal, saying it will mean the end of an important nature reserve and a piece of history.

Campaigner Sally Griffin said: “The land used to be allotments for railworkers but after privatisation of the rail service it was sold.

“The last allotment was owned by a man called ‘Old Reg’ who didn’t want to let it go - they were of great sentimental importance and hold within them a great deal of history.

“Every snippet of land in the city is being built on, we're going to be left with no way of engaging with nature.

“At the moment families cross the railway bridge and are able to look at the green stretch and point out to their children the signs of the changing seasons.

“There are so many different animals living and feeding there.

“I know there are the big parks in Brighton but the little stretches are also important as they allow a route for wildlife through the city up on to the Downs.”

The old allotments, at the rear of Springfield Road, are part of Brighton and Hove City Council's designated conservation area in Preston Park.

In May 2008 the proposal to build four two-bedroom houses was turned down. Kingsbury appealed and a hearing will now be held.

Residents can speak at the appeal hearing on September 29. It is expected to last three days. The location of the meeting has not yet been announced.

To contribute your views, write your comments in a letter to the Planning Inspector before July 22 at The Planning Inspectorate, Room 321E Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN quoting the appeal reference number APP/Q1445/A/09/2105969/NWF.

For further information contact Brighton and Hove City Council’s appeal officer Aidan Thatcher on 01273 292265 before July 22.

If you would like to help the FLORA campaign call 01273 621708 or email Sally74A@btinternet.com.