An application to develop an affordable housing scheme on the Freshfield Road allotments site was approved by Brighton & Hove City Council's planning sub-committee at a meeting on 3 November.
The committee felt that as the site was no longer available for use as allotments (tenants having been evicted by Southern Water last year), it could be usefully developed to meet housing needs.
The development will comprise 21 affordable flats, which will help to satisfy a much needed demand.
Councillors approved the decision with the proviso that landowner Southern Water find an alternative site for the allotments that currently occupy the land; that facilities for community use are included in the development and that improvements are made to local transport systems nearby. Nevertheless the decision is an interesting development because it was taken against officer advice because the committee decided it was unlikely that the land would ever be used again for allotments.
Despite a plea from Conservative councillor Carol Theobald that this should not be seen as a precedent it is compelling to apply the same principles to the Redhill Close site (see earlier stories in Knowledgebase). This privately owned, disused playing field in Westdene was the subject of an application for 112 affordable houses. The Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership supported the application but it was rejected because it is a greenfield site.
If it remains disused it will strenghten the argument that it too should be turned over to affordable housing because it stands no realistic propsect of being returned to a greenfield use.
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