Labour and Conservative councillors are lining up to protect a greenfield site on the edge of Brighton and Hove.
One of them, Labour councillor Brian Fitch, is presenting a petition to a meeting of the Brighton and Hove City Council cabinet next Thursday (10 May) headed “Save our valley”.
Councillor Fitch’s e-petition has been signed by 293 people and says: “We the undersigned support the campaign organised by National Trust to stop the Conservative-led government building and desecrating our countryside. Locally, our own Toad’s Hole Valley is under threat of development, as has been highlighted in the local press. We therefore urge Brighton and Hove’s Green Council to reject any plans for development on Toad’s Hole Valley, protecting its use for local residents, children and as a haven for wildlife.”
His campaign follows the redesignation of the unkempt site as suitable for development under plans being drawn up by the Green administration.
Draft plans suggest 750 homes on the site and council leader Bill Randall has indicated that the site would be ideal for a scheme built based on the “one planet living” principles. This aims to use much less energy and minimise waste. It reflects a belief that we are living as though we had three planets rather than just the one.
He is also keen to provide more housing, with thousands of people having been on the council waiting list for years. And he regards it as an opportunity to include hundreds of council or housing association properties.
A similar e-petition has been started by Hove Park Conservative councillors Vanessa Brown and Jayne Bennett.
Theirs has currently been siged by 160 people and is due to be presented to a council meeting on Thursday 19 July.
It says: “We the undersigned petition the council to oppose the proposed redesignation of Toad’s Hole Valley for housing and mixed use development. Vanessa Brown and Jayne Bennett are the two councillors for Hove Park ward which adjoins Toad’s Hole Valley and we are extremely concerned about the potential impact of such a large-scale development on the existing residents in the Hove Park and in Hangleton and Knoll areas. The proposed 750 houses will completely overwhelm the existing infrastructure. There will be serious problems with road access and the schools and health facilities will be overwhelmed. We seriously urge the Green administration to think again about this proposal.”
The two councillors will be asking supporters to sign the petition until a deadline of Thursday 5 July.
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