CONCERNED residents have been denied the chance to have their say on a controversial council plan that would see homes developed on a nature reserve.

Friends of Whitehawk Hill, along with Coldean Residents Association and Stanmer Preservation Society have had their public deputations dismissed by the Mayor ahead of the next council meeting.

Two sites in Coldean, Brighton – on land adjoining the South Downs and Stanmer Estate – are earmarked for development.

The Argus: Sue Craig, Rob Berry, Cllr Robert Nemeth, Rose Bunker and Anna de WitSue Craig, Rob Berry, Cllr Robert Nemeth, Rose Bunker and Anna de Wit

Areas of Whitehawk Hill; Ingleside Stables; and South Downs Riding School and Reservoir greenfield could also make way for 75 homes, under the proposals.

The development is part of proposals in City Plan Part 2, which aims to identify and allocate additional development sites.

Coldean Residents’ Association secretary Rose Bunker said the rejection proves officials are not interested in hearing the views of residents.

"We feel along this whole process that we have been misled and haven't been listened too.

"I just don't understand how they can reject a deputation that is being made within the time limit of the consultation.

"The fact they have refused to listen to both to a deputation and to three petitions shows to my mind they are not interested in hearing to the views of the people who elected them.

"I really think that is incredible."

A total of three petitions aimed at saving the land targeted by City Plan 2 that were submitted to the council for debate ahead of the next meeting have also been rejected.

Over 5,500 people had signed the petitions.

A spokesman for the council said: "The council fully supports the rights of petitioners and regularly debates petitions at council meetings.

“In this case, three petitions were deemed ‘inappropriate’ for discussion this week as Full Council has already concluded its consideration of City Plan Part 2.

“This plan is currently being considered through statutory public consultation and residents can continue to comment on this on the council’s website until Friday 30 October. Any representations received will be submitted to the secretary of state for consideration.

“The correct statutory process has been followed throughout.”

The council is due to meet on Thursday.