THE battle over the future of a green field has been re-ignited after developers appealed against a decision to reject plans for 85 homes.

Lightwood Strategic has appealed against Brighton and Hove City Council’s decision to reject plans for scores of homes on the Meadow Vale site in Ovingdean.

Campaigners trying to preserve the site claim that it should have been included in the South Downs National Park and is home to slow worms and lizards.

Brighton Kemptown MP Simon Kirby has written to the planning inspectorate and local government minister Greg Clark about his concerns over the threat to the “unspoilt location”.

The plans for the new neighbourhood on land south of Ovingdean Road, Brighton, for one, two, three and four bedroom homes were rejected by committee members in January.

Councillors rejected the proposals because the developer failed to supply sufficient information about the ecological impact of the new development in terms of air quality and local wildlife.

The plans, which received more than 600 letters of objection, were also deemed an “overdevelopment” of a “sensitive site”.

Developers Pegasus Planning Group and Lightwood Strategic, who had already amended the size of the development from 100 homes to 85, said the proposals would provide much needed housing to the city while new habitats would be created for protected species.

The site, which is currently used for horse grazing, is among 66 urban fringe locations in the city deemed suitable to be considered for development under the City Plan.

Mr Kirby said that he had been contacted by thousands of concerned residents since the plans were first unveiled in The Argus in February last year.

He said the plans would threaten the “distinctive village feel” of the three villages Ovingdean, Rottingdean and Woodingdean, as well as placing an extra burden on local services and infrastructure.

He said: “I have always been consistent that any new development in the city should be on brownfield and city centre land rather than greenfield sites such as Meadow Vale.

“The infrastructure through Rottingdean and on the Falmer Road, which is already at breaking point, would clearly not be able to cope with hundreds of extra cars on the road.”

Residents have until September 22 to register their objections to the planning inspectorate.