28 June 2013….. Frank le Duc’s article on the Brighton and Hove News website provides us with notice of Brighton & Hove City Council’s intention to submit its City Plan to the Planning Inspectorate today. A Public Inquiry is likely to follow and it is anticipated that it will come round about the September 2013 mark.
If and when the draft City Plan comes before us again in a Public Inquiry, please note that anyone who already provided a consultation response in the past will get another crack at commenting in order to provide further evidence at such an Inquiry to tray to gain changes not already allowed. A bit like going to court.
Events overtake things from time to time and the proposed housing allocation for the DA 6 area (from the Hove Station area up to Old Shoreham Road and over to Sackville Road) should be looked at again in the light of BHCC support for a 650 pupil bilingual (Spanish/English) junior school for Hove Park’s scrub nursery area. The school are currently based at Falmer and went to the Govt’s little quango to get them to find them space in Brighton & Hove for their expansion plans. And between them, it appears that Hove Park has been targetted.
This follows from agreement by the Conservatives during their time as the BHCC Administration. Hove Park Ward Cllr Vanessa Brown was Cabinet Member in charge of schools provision during that Administration which might suggest residents there support this; right? They don’t. She agreed this. It seems that only the planning application (yet to be submitted) provides any opportunity whatsoever for residents to influence outcome, when it comes.
There would be absolutely no transition space between the school premises and the park, effectively making the school and the park a single unit. There is simply not enough space in the former council park nursery area to provide any separating buffer zone. And it will have a huge impact onthe Engineerium too which its owner is no happy with. You cannot expect 650 pupils and their parents NOT to clog up the old animal droveway accessway (a single vehicle lane) or to avoid use of park facilities either as part of the school’s needs or for their own purposes before school, in the lunch breaks, and after school. This will add a huge pressure of numbers onto park use. And it will increase park maintenance costs too at a time of savage cuts to the local authority grant from the Govt.
There is an argument to be made that if BHCC wants this, then it should reconsider its identified sites figure for the DA6 part of The City Plan. And substantially reduce or eliminate it altogether as creating an unacceptable long-term amenity load on the park over and above the 650 pupils they appear to want in the park too. Hove Park is a major Hove asset used by the whole town and the council has calculated load figures for it that it works to.
This is one example of how the City Plan could be challlenged at Public Inquiry. The Neighbourhood Plan which the Hove Station Neighbourhood Forum is working towards would also very likely provide further suggestions for modification – but perhaps not in time for the Public Inquiry the Planning Inspectorate will raise.