A VERY important decision will be made by Brighton and Hove City Council today concerning the planned high-rise flats in Sackville Road, Hove.

The planning committee’s verdict tonight will certainly have a huge impact on our city’s residents and those who want to get on the housing ladder.

The fact some of the planned tower blocks are as high as 15 storeys may be contentious, but as today’s Argus demonstrates, it is far from the only major development the planning committee will decide on.

Today’s stories on pages 2 and 3 concerning the planned affordable housing in Coldean show a balance must be struck between building houses for those who need them and ensuring residents who live near these new sites are not forgotten about.

There is plenty of disused land in our city that could be put to good use.

Building on undeveloped, natural land can often be controversial as it takes away valuable green spaces, so the council should use the abundance of derelict buildings in Brighton and Hove to its advantage.

We need only look to the streets to see our city’s residents are in desperate need of proper affordable housing. It seems now it has never been more difficult for first-time buyers to get on the property ladder.

But the council needs to look at each application slowly and carefully to make sure it improves our city, not hinders it.

High-rise blocks can be a good idea, especially because of the amount of housing it provides, but their impact on the residents around them needs to properly assessed.