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 - 20 July 2012

Economic Partnership responds to 2012 draft City Plan consultation

The 2012 draft City Plan is immeasurably superior to the previous version which was effectively rejected by the Planning Inspector in May 2010. The Economic Partnership supports 95% of it with just a couple of areas of continuing concern.

The City Plan is the overall strategic and spatial vision for the next 20 years and it attempts the impossible task of providing sufficient space for offices, homes, schools, parks, gardens, roads and infrastructure [physical and digital] in a city that has everything going for it except space.

In addition it must balance economic growth in a time of unprecedented austerity with sustainability at a time of unprecedented danger for the planet and cater for a local population that has increased by 25,000 people over the past decade and shows no sign of slowing down over the next two.

Under these circumstances the city council’s planning officers have done a tremendous job in putting together a superior document involving hundreds of hours of consultation with stakeholders including two separate workshops  with the Economic Partnership in November 2011 and April 2012.

The evidence-based background documents that accompanied the publication of the draft City Plan have revealed in detail the scale of many of the challenges we face. Population projections, which may have to be revisited in the light of the most recent 2011 census results [see earlier story], indicate that we need in excess of 19,000 homes to cater for demand over the next 20 years. But to supply that many would require building on practically every piece of land including employment sites that prevent us from becoming a dormitory town for London and other locations.

Space has been identified for a minimum of 11,300 homes and making up the shortfall of over 7,000 homes is impossible within our unitary authority boundaries. Technically the city is required to work with its neighbours to find suitable sites [see earlier story] but they too will struggle to fufill their housing targets. For this reason the Economic Partnership is urging the council to be much bolder in its housing proposals, building to greater densities and building up in accordance with the Tall Buildings Strategy.

The Partnership supports the vast bulk of the Plan, especially

  • The inclusion of Toads Hole Valley as a development site [see earlier story]
  • Compromising on employment sites by allowing mixed-use schemes to enable sites to be developed in the difficult economic climate [which may last for fully half of the Plan period!]
  • Purpose-built student accommodation to safeguard the strength of the workforce and the contribution of our two universities
  • The sliding scale for affordable housing provision
  • The aspiration for more One Planet Living developments

It has also raised a number of questions;

  • Should Black Rock still be allocated for a major leisure use now that the Ice Arena has failed to come forward?
  • Is it realistic to expect Code 5 housing on the heavily contaminated Gasworks site?
  • Is the expectation for office space at Hove Station reasonable?
  • Is the King Alfred site the best place for a sports centre?
  • Is the local definition of sustainable development in excess of that demanded in the National Planning Policy Framework NPPF]?
  • Apart from the expansion of Churchill Square, do we really need more small shops?

There are only two areas of the Plan that the Partnership finds it cannot support: blanket protection of all remaining urban fringe sites [apart from Toads Hole Valley] and plans to increase visitor accommodation.

There are probably only a couple of urban fringe sites that would lend themselves to development but with 166,000 hectares of national park on the other side of the A27, it is difficult to marry their protection with the pressing need for housing and the scale of the shortfall in supply. The Planning Inspector Roland Punshon said in May 2010 that the local authority should have “gone down every rabbit hole” looking for land for housing [see earlier story]; there are plenty of rabbit holes in privately owned Mile Oak Fields or council owned Hangleton Bottom.

Meanwhile, the proposed increase in visitor accommodation was based on the Hotel Futures Study which was published in 2007 when the world was a very different place. Many of the developments that were guaranteed to increase demand for bed spaces in the city simply never happened and it is clear from talking to those in the industry that a radical reappraisal of current and future provision is needed in the light of possibly another 10 years of austerity. 

The final version of the Plan will be published early in 2013 and go for examination by the Planning Inspectorate in September 2013 for adoption in January 2014 if all goes according to plan [no pun intended].

Click here to download Economic Partnership response to draft City Plan

Read related items on:
Student Accommodation
Local policy
Local Development Framework
Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership

Browse our business Knowledgebase or search by keyword


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 11 December 2017
City Centre Vacancy Rates Drop Slightly From Sept 5 December 2017
Innovate UK Announces Sector Competitions in Manufacturing and Infrastructure Systems 5 December 2017
GDPR, steps to early compliance 1 December 2017
The 29th Sussex Business Awards 2017 Winners Announced 1 December 2017
Old tech gear? Give IT a new lease of life 29 November 2017
Driving for Better Business Campaign launches 29 November 2017
ARKA Funerals sponsor Burning the Clocks 2017 with 'In Memory' lanterns 27 November 2017
Govia Thameslink launches third consultation phase on once-in-a-generation timetable restructure 23 November 2017
Coast to Capital Launches Brighton Mainline Alliance 22 November 2017
Calling all UK companies that have transport, parking and commuting issues to address 15 November 2017
Start-up Challenge Business Competition Offering £10,000 Investment to Young Entrepreneurs 15 November 2017
IUK Announces £10 Million Innovation Loans Infrastructure Systems Funding Competition for UK SMEs 15 November 2017
Sussex Food and Drink Grand Finalists Celebrate Success 10 November 2017
Meaning conference confirms speaker line-up: breeding a new army of business activists 10 November 2017
Positive body image documentary screening at Hove school 8 November 2017
Material Practices: Painting and Printmaking at the University of Brighton - Private View 8 November 2017
Economic Partnership kick starts city strategy consultation 8 November 2017
GTR respond to positive ASLEF referendum result 7 November 2017
350th employer signed up to the Brighton & Hove Campaign 7 November 2017
Rampion announces £4 million community fund 6 November 2017
The First Gamification Conference comes to Brighton 3 November 2017
Shoreham Port Welcomes New Commercial and Operations Director 2 November 2017
Burning the Clocks launches Crowdfunder for 2017 2 November 2017
The Gatwick Diamond Business Awards are now open for Entries 31 October 2017
Brighton Based Paxton Open New Centre for Technology & Innovation 27 October 2017
Adventures in risk taking for high growth businesses 27 October 2017
Can your business benefit from offering a 'world of work' experience? 27 October 2017
The Small Business Saturday Bus Tour launches across the UK for its fifth year 24 October 2017
Business Networking & Case Study Visit with the Sustainable Business Partnership 24 October 2017
Could you use an Energy Saving Workshop? 17 October 2017
Peter Blake raffle raises £2,290 for Middle Street School 17 October 2017
AMEX named major sponsor of city's bike share scheme 16 October 2017
Ropetackle Business Friends scheme 4 October 2017
BTN BikeShare: a successful first month 3 October 2017
PLATF9RM open at Hove Town Hall