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Should eco-homes be built on Toads Hole Valley in Hove?
Battle lines have been drawn over the potential development of a green space.
Brighton and Hove City Council’s planners have identified Toads Hole Valley in Hove as a key place to provide homes and other facilities for the growing area.
The triangular 47 hectare site, which borders King George VI Avenue, the A27 and Downland Drive, has been included in the draft city plan, which will guide development in the city until 2030, as a place to build.
But with hundreds of residents campaigning against the plans to build on the “green lung”, the inclusion in the key document is unlikely to be simple.
Time is now running out for others to have their views before the consultation closes on July 20.
Council leader Jason Kitcat said: “Land for development in Brighton and Hove is scarce and we want to make the best possible use of this site.
“As privately-owned land, the only way we can influence the future use of Toads Hole Valley is through the planning process and that’s why your views are so important.”
In the document the council recommends the site is used for an eco-development following the “One Planet Living” principles of a reduced carbon footprint.
This includes 700 new homes, half of which will be family sized, a new secondary school, work spaces and a gateway to South Downs National Park.
The local authority added it would include community facilities and transport links, as well as making improvements to the Site of Nature Conservation Interest on the western embankment.
Tony Mernagh, of Brighton and Hove Economic Partnership, has previously said developing the site is a “no brainer”.
But Conservative councillor Vanessa Brown said she and her colleague Jayne Bennett had collected nearly 1,000 signatures opposing the plans.
Coun Brown said: “The residents are horrified although I think the majority don’t know how big it will be.
“The biggest concern is the traffic. We all know how busy King George VI gets.
“I appreciate we need to provide homes but I think we should focus on developing the brownfield sites in the city.
“Toads Hole Valley is the gateway to Hove. All those views of the sea will be lost and it’s our last piece of urban fringe before the A27 bypass. It’s our green lung.”
The local authority is holding two consultation events on Thursday for local residents at West Blatchington Windmill in Holmes Avenue, Hove.
They will run from 2pm to 5pm and 6pm to 7.30pm.