I was in Saltdean yesterday at an exhibition put on by Hyde Homes who are proposing to build 46 homes on a Greenfield site on the NW edge of Saltdean off Falmer Avenue and Bishopstone Drive. As with the Meadow Valley site in Ovingdean (from which the massive Save Our Deans campaign has developed), this is one of the 39 Urban Fringe sites around Brighton that consultants have recommended for consideration for housing – since the Government Inspector rejected Brighton & Hove Council’s City Plan. As I predicted when I spoke at the Save Our Deans rally, it was the thin edge of the wedge. Since the Government inspector gave the green light to developers to submit more housing sites, greenfield sites around the City have become under threat. Local Saltdean residents were very unhappy at the proposal yesterday and raised many objections about the impact on transport and other community facilities.
everyone accepts we need more homes, but no one wants them on their doorstep, especially taking away much-loved green space
It is a difficult issue: everyone accepts we need more homes, but no one wants them on their doorstep, especially taking away much-loved green space. Other campaigners feel housing has to have priority over green space. But many people feel that green space is integral to the appeal of the City, along with the sea. My gut feeling is that we face an onslaught of proposals eating away at the green space in the City. The oppressive targets-driven insistence that we must build 20,000 more homes in Brighton is not realistic. And the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) now means that there is a presumption in favour of such developments. There must be a better way and better locations – brownfield sites in the City – for much-needed housing. I will be working closely with residents in Saltdean on this issue over the coming months to make sure their views are heard.