the Business Forum and
the Economic Partnership
in Brighton & Hove
Homepage    BCRP Intranet    Funding    Events    Knowledgebase    Links    About us     Contact us
Key projects



Workforce development 


Business &

Property &
Development sites




Consultation opportunities

Brighton & Hove Business Forum
8-11 Pavilion Buildings, Brighton, BN1 1EE
Tel: 01273 735442
Email: info@brighton

© Brighton & Hove
Business Forum

News - 17 April 2005

Economic Partnership responds to SEERA's 20 year plan

The Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership (BHEP) has made a full response to the South East Plan which seeks to guide development in the region for the next 20 years.

Click on the link below for a copy of the Economic Partnership’s full response to the South East Plan (pdf file 250KB) .

The headline response is detailed below.


Whilst welcoming the plan the BHEP is concerned that the Assembly has made no attempt to articulate an overall vision for the south-east’s economy by the end of the Plan period. It is only by asking what the economy of 2026 will look like that we will be able to truly plan ahead.

The BHEP agrees with the Assembly’s projection of 3% growth but would caution any complacency in assuming that this level of growth will happen automatically or without considerable investment in the infrastructure. Much of the infrastructure in the south east already operates at or close to capacity for a lot of the time and growth will not be sustained at historic levels unless this issue is addressed with urgency. The economy of the western world in the 21st Century is evolving at a faster pace than any time since the industrial revolution and many would question whether a plan covering twenty years has sufficient flexibility. It is essential therefore that it is regularly reviewed in the light of new developments in commerce and technology and the UK’s evolving position in the global marketplace We recommend that this flexibility be built into the plan in the next draft.


Because of the political controversy that has surrounded the issue, housing numbers have taken on an importance that has eclipsed other issues of equal importance, which is unfortunate. The BHEP is of the opinion that even the option for highest level of housing provision at 32,000 dwellings is unlikely to meet the required demand and the Assembly should seriously consider research on the subject prepared for SEEDA by Deloitte MCS Ltd. It is crucial that the provision of housing seeks to fulfil researched need and not merely rely on overall numbers of houses built to underpin growing prosperity. We are also of the opinion that housing should be concentrated in those areas of greatest economic activity (sharper focus) where homes can be located close to employment opportunities. We welcome the proposal for 40% affordable housing.


The absence of serious improvements to the transport infrastructure will hold back the ability of developers to build the required number of houses and seriously disadvantage the entire south-east economy. The Plan’s proposals for ‘hubs and spokes’ would appear to be a re-submission of the South Coast Multi Modal Study (SoCoMMS), which was largely supported by the business community seven years ago but rejected by central government. We would urge the government to accept the proposals in 2006 but the Plan needs to be much clearer about specific improvements to road and rail networks.

We are particularly disappointed that specific improvements to the A21, A26, A23 and A27 are not included in the Plan and that the latter is not identified as an inter-regional corridor.

Gatwick is insufficiently promoted and the potential provision of a second runway (subject to failure to control emissions at Heathrow) should not be questioned. The potential role of Shoreham as a commercial airport flying to northern Europe and UK destinations should be recognised. The Plan should warn against cross-subsidisation of airports in the south east.


Inflexibility in the planning system is not identified although it often hinders rather than facilitates economic growth. The lead time for major infrastructure developments, such as water and sewage plants is measured in decades and needs to be addressed by guidance in the Plan.


Bearing in mind that The Plan will replace the old-style structure plans, it has not exploited the opportunity to take an holistic approach to economic prosperity and well-being. The role of Learning & Skills and Culture over the next 20 years is woefully under-addressed in just a handful of priorities. And the cultural life of the region is entirely absent despite much evidence that it makes a considerable contribution to both the quality of life of the south east and its economic prosperity. We recommend that some serious work be done to rectify these significant omissions. The Assembly should work with the lead bodies in this area Sport England, Arts Council England South East, The Cultural Consortium and many others involved in the provision of cultural and sporting activities in the region.


We welcome the emphasis on the regeneration of the South Coast study area but the repeated use of the word ‘resort’ to describe destination towns and cities is a hang-over from the 1950s. It does not identify or understand the role of Brighton & Hove as an economic catalyst in this the sub region even though the city is widely recognised as a model of regeneration and recent sustainable economic growth.


The BHEP broadly agrees with policies on waste and energy but has reservations about the promotion of wind as a sustainable energy source. The Assembly needs to consider carefully the cost/benefit of wind as a source of electrical energy weighed against the unavoidable intrusion on visual amenity.


The potential of the Shoreham Maritime development as a driver of economic growth in the sub region would we believe be greatly enhanced by the development of a Ports strategy, a process which was able to assess critically the operation of the three ports - Porstmouth, Shoreham and Newhaven - within a 75 km radius. The deployment of the land at Shoreham in the most effective way is crucial to the future economic development of Brighton and Hove and Adur, as there is so little developable land between the boundary of the Downs and the sea. The Partnership would want to see such a Ports Strategy within the plan.

Broadly speaking the BHEP welcomes the Plan in its first draft and has devoted considerable energy to commenting on it because we recognise its importance. There are changes we would wish to see in specific policies and we have made comments on the headline issues. If the Plan is to make a significant impact it must unlock the appropriate investment, create the dynamic flexibility and support the imaginative economic growth that the South East needs for the next two decades.

Read related items on:
South East Plan
Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership

Browse our business Knowledgebase or search by keyword


14 March 2018
Better Business for All Event with BEIS
7 March 2018
Brighton celebrates women in tech as Spring Forward festival returns for a fourth year 6 March 2018
Six months of success for BTN BikeShare 2 March 2018
Sustainability in Action masterclasses for Sussex businesses 2 March 2018
Doing Business in China comes to Brighton 1 March 2018
Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce presents: Protecting your brand- a guide for fast growth businesses 1 March 2018
Long haul passengers boost local economy and jobs, according to new Gatwick report on the 'Visitor Economy' 28 February 2018
Save time reporting crime 27 February 2018
Warren Morgan Resigns from Brighton & Hove City Council 23 February 2018
Brighton Technology Company, Paxton Ranks in Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For 23 February 2018
Greater Brighton's Commercial Property Database 22 February 2018
SE-ASSIST - Launch of Loan Capital in Greater Brighton 19 February 2018
House Price update Q4 2017 19 February 2018
What would you do in a crisis? 19 February 2018
The investment journey for high growth entrepreneurs 9 February 2018
Make Change Count 2018 - helping rough sleepers in Brighton & Hove 8 February 2018
Brighton Technology Company Paxton Announces Recipients of New Scholarship Programmein Association with the University of Brighton 8 February 2018
Cyber London Accelerator Invites Summer 2018 Entries 8 February 2018
Innovate UK Launches Strand 2 Emerging and Enabling Technologies Sector Competition 8 February 2018
Success In Sussex As Food And Drink Heroes Crowned Winners 8 February 2018
UK Games Fund - Fourth Round Open to Applications 8 February 2018
Innovate UK & Prince's Trust Launch Young Innovators' Programme 6 February 2018
Brighton & Hove Food Partnership launches 'Kit Out The Kitchen' crowdfunding campaign 2 February 2018
Brighton & Hove Council and Crest Nicholson win £15m government funding to kickstart King Alfred project 1 February 2018
Could a Utilise Plus Programme grant help you? 1 February 2018
Shoreham Port Facilitates Huge Operation 18 January 2018
IUK Announces Collaborative R&D Funding for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles Simulation 18 January 2018
Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Launches $1 Billion Corporate Venture Capital Fund for Next Generation Mobility 17 January 2018
PORTlife #17 Newsletter Out Now 17 January 2018
Over £19,000 raised for Burning the Clocks 2017 11 January 2018
Brighton Main Line Improvement Project: Planned closures in October 2018 and February 2019 11 January 2018
Come on in! Fairtrade Fortnight 2018 8 January 2018
Sussex Business SkillSnap targets hospitality industry skill shortage 3 January 2018
House Price update 2017 Q3 20 December 2017
£14.35 Million European Regional Development Fund Launched 19 December 2017
Leading the way - Sustainability in Action masterclass 15 December 2017
Brighton is among the best places to start a business due to their strong growth factors 15 December 2017
GTR consultation ends 20th Dec 2017 13 December 2017
Ethical Food StartUp Programme - Idea Generation Workshop 12 December 2017
Utilise Plus launch programme of energy efficiency grants and business support for SMEs