Brighton housing chief wants homes built on downland

Posted On 27 Oct 2014 at 9:29 am

The man in charge of Brighton’s leading housing and homelessness charity wants to see homes built on some downland sites.

Andy Winter, the chief executive of Brighton Housing Trust (BHT), said that the land between Bevendean and Warren Road was ripe for housing.

Mr Winter made his comments on BBC Sussex this morning (Monday 27 October).

He spoke as a government planning inspector awaits a response from Brighton and Hove City Council to her demand that planners “look under every stone” for sites for new homes.

Mr Winter said that Brighton had a shortage of housing and needed bold leadership.

He said that Moulsecoomb and Bevendean were once virgin downland until someone was bold enough to build thousands of homes there.

Andy Winter

Andy Winter

He said that we need leaders with the same boldness today to help solve our housing crisis.

Separately BHT is today starting a campaign called Five Minutes to highlight how long it takes to help people facing eviction.

BHT advice workers provide emergency advice. Today they were due to be operating at Brighton County Court yet Mr Winter said on his blog: “We have seen a low attendance rate at the Hastings County Court, one of several courts in East Sussex where we offer free legal advice for people who face losing their homes.”

He said that BHT’s campaign aimed “to encourage people facing eviction through the courts to attend their possession hearings and to get the free emergency advice we offer at the county courts so that they stand a better chance of saving their homes”.

Mr Winter said: “We will attempt to demystify the repossession process, making it less frightening, helping people to understand the importance of attending the hearing and to ensure that they know that there is free legal advice on offer.

“This advice is available to tenants and home owners.”

BHT Hastings advice centre manager Jo Wilson said: “Receiving a letter from the court and learning that you could lose your home is a terrifying experience.

“It is understandable that people feel that there is nothing that they can do.

“But what most people don’t realise is that it is never too late and in many cases we can help to save your home.

“BHT has advisers at Hastings County Court for every initial possession hearing and we are available to offer free confidential advice to tenants and homeowners who are facing possession proceedings.

“We cannot promise to save your home but in Hastings 91 per cent of people we have worked with we have secured positive outcomes.

“We would always advocate getting advice as early as possible. But if you haven’t done so before the hearing it is always better to attend the hearing and see what we can do to help.”

  1. Andy Winter Reply

    i think it is more of a question of needing to build on the Downs, rather than wanting to build! Of course I would prefer that all housing need could be met by redeveloping brown field sites,mbut there are not enough such sites.Those opposing building on the Downs need to say where else we can build.

  2. rolivan Reply

    Could somebody tell Mr Winter ( I did try to speak to him but he is too busy and so was his P.A so it would seem) that there is plenty of room throughout the City to build Social Housing in the City before there is a need to rip up Downland.Not everyone wants or needs a garden.

  3. Nick Baker Reply

    If BHCC are to ‘look under every stone’ to find places to develop, can they start with some of the very large stones that litter the city rather than ripping up downland to find them. The argument that Bevendean used to be downland so therefore it’s OK is null and void…every city in the world was nothing until it got built on.

  4. rolivan Reply

    How did that happen all of a sudden a comment pops up from Mr Winter? I am sure it wasn’t there before.Perhaps he will find time to ask Shelley Reed the details of my email.If you look around the City there are plenty of places, you just need to look and think outside of the box.

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