Plans to turn Hangleton Bottom into waste site re-emerge

Posted On 20 Jan 2010 at 8:44 am

Plans to turn Hangleton Bottom into a waste disposal site are back on the agenda – but the fields could now also become home to an ambulance station and community centre.

On Monday night, Brighton and Hove City Council gave the go-ahead to market the eight acre stretch of land, designated an areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONB), for use as a commercial waste disposal site.

The land has been earmarked for this use since 2008, when it became clear the AONB status would be lifted when the South Downs National Park, which it does not fall into, came into being.

The decision to market it was made by the Central Services Committee, which only has one member, Tory councillor Ayas Fallon-Khan.

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Now, with the park having been created, the council is free to sell it on, and says that waste disposal is a worthy use for it.

However, the Labour opposition group last night called for the decision to be reviewed so the public could have more of a say on the plans.

Deputy leader of the Labour group Les Hamilton said: “This green-field site has the chance to be a real asset to local people, which everyone can benefit from, such as community or open spaces. People should have the chance to put their views before the Tories well in advance of them taking a decision of this magnitude.

“I believe the decision taken by the conservative councillor [Cllr Fallos-Khan] to potentially sell off a piece of land for commercial waste should be challenged. Local people should be given the chance to have their say before this council starts marketing Hangleton Bottom.”

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The council report said: “Since 2008 there have been a number of expressions of interest in the site from commercial waste companies and interest has also been shown from the South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Trust (SECAMB).

“Preliminarydiscussions have been held with the latter organisation and South Downs NHSTrust (SDNHS) for an alternative ambulance station site.

“There is also anidentified need for the provision of community facilities in the Benfield localityand the development of Hangleton Bottom presents an opportunity to achievethat objective within a co-ordinated designed and developed mixed use scheme.”

It added: “extensive public consultations will be required through the Local Authority Planning process.”

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