An arms trade expert has called on the council to “send a message” to a manufacturer by forcing them to tear down part of their factory.

L3Harris, one of the world’s largest arms manufacturers, is currently seeking planning permission for a previously temporary extension to its Moulsecoomb site in Brighton.

Now, Professor Anna Stavrianakis, of the University of Sussex, says the city council should reject the application over the company’s links to Israel’s assault in Gaza.

A council spokesman said the application needed to be considered in a “fair and transparent manner”.

Speaking at a pro-Palestine rally on Saturday, Professor Stavrianakis said: “The council needs to step in where our national government is failing to. The council owns the freehold to the land that L3Harris operates on.

The Argus: L3Harris's factory in MoulsecoombL3Harris's factory in Moulsecoomb (Image: Planning Application)

“It would be really significant in sending a message to L3Harris that we don’t want them in the city.”

The factory in Home Farm Business Park is used to produce bomb racks which are then fitted to American F-35 fighter jets.

These fighter jets are then sold to the Israeli government through the US government’s Foreign Military Sales Process.


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Social media posts from the Israeli Defence Force suggest that F-35 fighter jets are being used in the Israel-Gaza conflict.

A planning application currently before Brighton and Hove City Council is seeking to gain permanent permission for a temporary extension.

The extension was built in September 2018 but only had permission for five years.

The application has hundreds of objections including from MPs Caroline Lucas and Lloyd Russell-Moyle.

The Argus: Protesters marching to the factory on SaturdayProtesters marching to the factory on Saturday (Image: Supplied)

Protesters marched towards the factory on Saturday from The Level and rallied against the arms factory.

A Brighton and Hove City Council spokesman said: “We have a legal duty to consider in a fair and transparent manner all planning applications that are submitted to us.

“We take into account national and local planning policies and planning law when doing so.

“We have to follow due process and cannot comment on live planning applications while they are being considered.”

The planning application will go before a committee meeting on March 5.