After the U-turn Council vote (by 27 to 0 with a record 25 abstentions) to propose the inclusion of Toad’s Hole Valley in the South Down’s National Park it now seems likely that the vote will be overturned by the Policy Committee when it meets next week.
Just as a deal was stitched together by the Greens and Conservatives to force the u-turn in the first place it seems the Lib Dems could hold the balance of power on the decision on this powerful committee. Liberal Democrat leader Paul Elgood has indicated that his group may be willing to follow the advice of the officers concerned which is that Toad’s Hole Valley is not of sufficient landscape quality to qualify for inclusion.
Recognising that absolutely nothing has changed to improve the quality of the landscape or the opportunities for superior recreation since the site was originally rejected Paul Elgood said : - “ To go back and re-make previous decisions is both undemocratic and irresponsible in the extreme”.
If the vote is overturned by the Policy Committee and the site remains outside the Council’s boundary proposals it will certainly save the local authority the embarrassing situation of having to come up with some convincing reason why they made a mistake the first time round.
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Brighton & Hove City Council
Toad's Hole Valley