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News - 2 July 2007

Special King Alfred planning meeting arranged

Brighton & Hove City Council has called a special meeting of its planning applications sub-committee to consider signing off the ‘Section 106’ legal agreements around the King Alfred redevelopment plans

The special meeting, to be held on Wednesday 11 July at 9.45am at Hove Town Hall, has been requested by council leader Brian Oxley to avoid further delay and speculation about the project.

Councillor Oxley said: “Sufficient progress had been made in the three days leading up to the last planning committee that the developers were asking for the Section 106 agreement to be signed immediately.

“The redevelopment proposals have generated a huge amount of local feeling,so I felt honour bound to make sure councillors were given the opportunity to consider the detail of the Section 106 legal agreement, rather than leaving that responsibility to officers.

“We understand our contractual commitments to the developers and have no intention of trying to break the terms of the agreement.

“Officers have worked well to produce a very comprehensive set of conditions for members to consider.

“I believe the extra time we are taking to make sure that this decision isn’t rushed, and that councillors have the time they need to get the appropriate legal advice from officers, is a very sensible investment in the future of our city.

“With hindsight I believe more openness and transparency at the earlier stages of this scheme may have prevented such a high level of suspicion locally.

“The council has now established the major projects sub-committee to work on large scale developments of this sort that have city-wide repercussions. I believe strongly that this will lead to more transparent decision making.

“This new committee is also a clear sign to developers looking at other local projects of our commitment to working with them in a constructive and professional manner to deliver developments that will really benefit our city.”

Leader of the Opposition Cllr. Gill Mitchell issued the following statement: -

" I welcome Cllr Oxley's decision to bring to an end this unnecessary delay and to hopefully now get this important development underway. I totally refute any suggestion that the process has not been an open one.

This has been a long and careful procedure, with decisions taken in public at key stages based on full information being made available. Unlike the debacle witnessed at the last Planning Committee meeting where information was only made available to councillors at the last minute and an attempt made by the Conservative Chairman to push the vote through with no debate.

Next Wednesday, the Committee must base its decision on the interests of the city as a whole."

Developer Karis Group issued the following statement:-

Karis Holdings welcomes the Council’s statement and its commitment to an early resolution to approving the Section 106 at a special meeting next week of the planning applications sub-committee. The Council has had the further time it wanted to review the detail of the significant benefits that the Section 106 brings to the city and we understand that it is now satisfied that we can all press ahead with the full planning consent

Read related items on:
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Brighton & Hove City Council
Mitchell, Gill
Oxley, Brian
King Alfred

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