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News - 27 November 2009

Brighton & Hove Urban Study the best in south east

Brighton & Hove’s Urban Characterisation Study - city-wide review that analysed the special character of 32 neighbourhoods - was voted the best planning strategy in south east England and given the regional award by the Royal Town Planning Institute.

The study provides a wealth of information about how various neighbourhoods within the city have developed, including a description and analysis of those qualities that will guide planning decisions on future developments.

Planners will use the study to decide what types of development will best improve and fit in with different areas of the city. The study makes it easier to see the impact a proposed development would have on the individual neighbourhood, as well as the city as a whole. It also provides guidance to developers.

Brighton & Hove’s Urban Characterisation Study has analysed the special character of 32 neighbourhoods, from historic downland settlements and Victorian suburbs to the late 20th century Marina development.

Councillor Geoffrey Theobald, Brighton & Hove’s cabinet member for environment, said: “Other planning authorities have shown a keen interest in our study. Our staff have put in a lot of time and effort and have produced an easy to understand guide describing the make up of the city and the past influences on its development and identity.

“The study highlights areas that could be improved and these will be taken forward through the Local Development Framework which sets out planning policy for future years.”

The study has been written, illustrated and produced in-house by the Design and Conservation Team of City Planning. The methodology has been taken up by other planning authorities, particularly London boroughs and Southampton City Council, as a model for their own studies.

Areas covered by Brighton & Hove’s Urban Characterisation Study include:

  • Bear Road – Race Hill in this area is one of the highest points in the city. Much of the neighbourhood was developed in the 1900s to house people working in factories and many of the streets named after Boer War generals. One of the special features here are three large Victorian cemeteries.
  • Hollingbury – Comprises the city’s biggest post-World War II housing project.
  • Pankhurst & Craven Vale – It’s location at the edge of the city meant that it has been the site for the racecourse, Brighton’s workhouse, allotments and a variety of sanatoriums, hospitals and asylums.
  • Rottingdean – The village next to the sea retains an historic centre, with village green and pond, a high street and interlinked public gardens.
  • Saltdean – believed to be named after the salt spray that covered the grass after storms, the area started to be developed in the 1920s, and mostly features low rise, low density housing with mixed building styles.
  • • Surrenden – New development began in the early 1900s, above Preston Park, with substantial Edwardian dwellings. A major feature here is the number of schools within extensive grounds.
  • Tivoli & Prestonville – in the 19th century this area was home to market gardens, windmills, brick fields and large open air laundry. It includes the remnants of Port Hall and also the Booth Museum.
  • West Blatchington – includes the Goldstone, former home of Brighton & Hove Albion, now a retail park.

The national RTPI awards will be announced on 4 February 2010.

Read related items on:
Brighton & Hove City Council
Royal Town Planning Institute

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