People are given the chance to share their opinions on a new 100-home development at a controversial site some dub the "last green lung of Hove".

New owners of Benfield Valley, Hollybrook Homes, have opened a two-week public consultation on proposals for 100 homes in the 20-hectare large Benfield Valley, renovating the Benfield Barn and investing in local recreation areas.

The proposals are part of Brighton and Hove City Council's local plan for the next ten years, which included earmarking the valley for housing - up to 100 homes both north and south of Hangleton Lane.

Council planners anticipated that about 60 homes could be located to the north and 40 to the south, but developers Hollybrook hope to combine the housing allocation to just the north side of Hangleton Lane, where the current Footgolf site is.

They instead plan to use the lower site as a new "community park" which includes footpaths and ecological areas - including the existing BMX track.

A public drop-in exhibition is open at the Hangleton Manor pub from 4 to 8pm on November 29 and 28, where people can see options and proposals and give their feedback.

The consultation remains open online until December 14.

The Argus: A - Brighton and Hove Council's City Plan for a split site, with 100 homes both north and south of Hangleton Lane. B - Hollybrook plans for a combined site north of Hangleton LaneA - Brighton and Hove Council's City Plan for a split site, with 100 homes both north and south of Hangleton Lane. B - Hollybrook plans for a combined site north of Hangleton Lane (Image: Hollybrook Homes)

David Godden, Hollybrook Homes's project director, said: “We have appointed a high-quality design team who have reviewed the site very carefully and consider there could be a better alternative approach which delivers benefits to the local community and reduces the environmental impact of the scheme within the valley.

“We would very much like to hear people’s views on the idea of combining the housing site, and to safeguard and enhance the open area south of Hangleton Lane as community parkland.

”We are committed to the long-term management of the valley and working collaboratively with the local community.

Read more: Restoration of 12 Madeira Terrace arches postponed

"We have a real opportunity here to do something very positive, which not only delivers much needed homes, including 40 percent affordable housing, but also invests in the ecology and recreation of Benfield Valley.”

The plans also include the restoration of the Benfield Barn and its nearby structures, currently left derelict, to become a community centre.

This includes a space for community groups to use, a cafe, and a dog-washing facility.

The Argus: Proposals for the new Benfield Valley ParkProposals for the new Benfield Valley Park (Image: Hollybrook Homes)

Campaigners fought to save the space before the local plan was approved by councillors in October last year.

Helen Forester, chairwoman of the Benfield Valley Project, told The Argus at the time: “We will keep going until the diggers come.

“We know that getting Benfield out of the plan is now nigh on impossible, so we are showing that the valley should never have been on the table."

The Argus: Campaigners protesting against the developmentCampaigners protesting against the development (Image: The Benfield Valley Project)

According to the Benfield Valley Project, the Benfield Valley is the biggest urban woodland in Brighton and Hove and acts as a “green lung”, improving air quality from surrounding busy roads.

Helen added: “It is just tragic that we could lose a space which is so vital for city’s wildlife.

“My kids love spending time there, and it is so important for future generations of Brighton and Hove residents."