The final City Plan has been published but it has yet to be agreed by full council. Its most controversial proposal is the development of Toads Hole Valley. The Economic Partnership urges all councillors of whatever party to emulate the great aldermen of the city’s past and support this transformative vision.
The text of the open letter delivered to all councillors on Friday:
The Economic Partnership is urging all councillors in the local authority to support the City Plan and especially the development of Toads Hole Valley which will be discussed at the Policy & Resources Committee on 24th January and full council at the end of the month.
Hardly a month goes by when those involved in the city’s economy don’t thank Cllr. Geoffrey Theobald’s late father for his foresight in delivering the Brighton Centre in the 1970s thus transforming the city’s fortunes. Over the past 35 years it has generated billions of pounds, supported tens of thousands of jobs and driven a large chunk of the economy and, despite its age, it is still pulling in the crowds.
The development of Toads Hole Valley presents another opportunity for a vision equal to the Brighton Centre that will be similarly valued not just by generations to come but also today’s young, growing population starved of jobs and homes. The vision of a truly sustainable community of 700 desperately needed houses and a new school and employment space, creating 1,500 new jobs during its construction with training and apprentice opportunities, is on a par with the visions of the great aldermen of the city’s past; Carden, Theobald, Cohen etc . The wholesale realignment of King George VI Avenue to the other side of the valley parallel with the A27, immeasurably improving the lives of the residents living on its fringes, is icing on the cake.
As you are all aware, the City Plan will not be accepted by government unless the housing numbers destined for the valley are included. I am confident that our politicians do not want to embarrass the city by seeing the Plan rejected or incur the public expense of resubmitting it which would also hold many major developments hostage to the delay.
In politics there are inevitably party political considerations to take into account during decision making but this is a time to put them aside. The Economic Partnership urges all politicians to vote in favour of the Plan and the development of Toads Hole Valley. This and future generations will thank you for it for generations to come.
Gary Peters: Chair
Tony Mernagh: Executive Director
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Toads Hole Valley