Major developments are going to happen whether we like them or not, they are ultimately government imposed, but it’s Hove residents with a lot at stake.
A ‘YES’ vote on February 9th ensures the Council legally has to consider the Neighbourhood Plan when
making planning decisions – this is our one-off opportunity, don’t miss it.
The newsletter also describes the importance of two key community hubs, and the development pipeline.
Print off the PDF, or read more here
The December 2023 full City Council meeting approved the Hove Station Neighbourhood Plan to go forward to its final stage – the Referendum. Since the New Year, all residents eligible to vote have been receiving their polling cards.
Councillor Alan Robins, Chair of the Culture, Heritage, Sport, Tourism & Economic Development Committee, has emphasised the importance of the Referendum and expressed the hope that “as many residents as possible will help shape the future of their community by taking part”.
Thus, the Council have fully recognised the importance of a Neighbourhood Plan which has come from within the local community. Many residents have participated in Have Your Say Days, in working groups developing community-led projects and delivering our informative newsletters which track emerging development projects.
WHY VOTE ‘YES’?
In a nutshell, because a successful Referendum will further increase local community influence on the continuing regeneration of our area.
POSTAL VOTE (PV)
If you are already registered for a PV you can use it in the usual way – if you want a PV you must apply for one before January 25th. The council has set the polling date as February 9th, the day schools break up for half-term, so if you are planning a getaway, a postal vote might well be your best option. Contact details are on your polling card.
Why is this important for all Hove residents?
In approving the Neighbourhood Plan, the Council has signed up to the community’s vision of a new, joined up Hove Station Quarter north and south of the railway line. This achievement reflects the Forum’s track record of working with residents to influence the council and developers.
The high density, high rise redevelopment of our area was made inevitable when the Council’s 2015 City Plan designated Hove as a key location for accommodating the growth required by the government. Nonetheless, as the Council has acknowledged, the Neighbourhood Plan will equip the local community to influence the decisions of both the council and the landowners/developers, making sure that the regeneration benefits all Hove residents, not just those in the immediate vicinity.
The Neighbourhood Plan has legal status meaning that its policies and projects, based on established community priorities, cannot be ignored by either the council when considering planning applications, or by private landowners/developers when developing their projects.
It will bring substantial additional investment into our area. Subject to a successful Referendum, 25% of future developer contributions – the Neighbourhood Portion of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funds from future developments – will have to be invested within the Neighbourhood Plan Area. These substantial projects will mean that our Neighbourhood Portion will run into hundreds of thousands of pounds over the next few years.
The Plan proposes two Community Hubs as target locations within the core of the Neighbourhood Plan area for the investment of these CIL developer contributions. They aim to improve opportunities for residents to meet more of their daily and weekly needs for shopping, recreation and community services within a few minutes walking distance.
The Hove Station Community Hub proposal is focused on improving the environment in the immediate surroundings of the historic station, the Goldstone Villas and Hove Park Villas shopping parades and Station Approach, together with the full renovation of the long neglected footbridge.
The Sackville Road – Conway Street Community Hub centres on improving the environment of the Honeycroft buildings and the Vallance Community Centre to create a piazza and upgraded pocket park
A successful Referendum will give increased weight to community campaigns to persuade the Council to give the highest possible priority to implementation of the key policies of the Neighbourhood Plan including:
- the provision of significant proportion of genuinely affordable housing in future project
- ensuring that future projects should follow the precedent set by the Hove Gardens first virtually car-free development
- developing and delivering a new area-wide traffic management scheme minimising rat-running and speeding
- street improvements to include developer- funded tree planting, and action to make streets safer and healthier for pedestrians and cyclists, not least under the pedestrian-hostile Fonthill Road tunnel.
LOCATIONS OF CURRENT & FUTURE DEVELOPMENT, AND OF COMMUNITY HUBS
This map shows the locations of major developments either completed or under construction, as well as private sector-led projects in the pipeline to be brought forward by developers for Council approval in the next few years.
COMMUNITY HUB 1 – HOVE STATION
COMMUNITY HUB 2
Major developments are going to happen whether we like them or not, they are ultimately government imposed, but it’s Hove residents with a lot at stake. A ‘YES’ vote ensures the Council legally has to consider the Neighbourhood Plan when making planning decisions – this is our one-off opportunity, don’t miss it.
VOTING ‘YES’ WILL STRENGTHEN THE COMMUNITY’S INFLUENCE ON OUR GROWING NEIGHBOURHOOD
Referendum voters will answer ‘Yes or No’ to the question ‘Do you want the Brighton and Hove City Council to use the Hove Station Neighbourhood Plan to help it decide planning applications in the Neighbourhood Area?’
A majority ‘YES” will establish the local community’s right to have its say on future planning applications based on the question ‘does the proposed development take full account of approved Neighbourhood Plan policies and evolving community projects? ‘
THE DEVELOPMENT PIPELINE
In the short term, an application to redevelop the Royal Mail Delivery office will be submitted this year. Also, MODA has planning approval for a second stage development to provide specialist accommodation for elderly people, although this has been delayed and there may be the possibility of a new planning application.
In the longer term, the regeneration of the Conway Street area will eventually move west to include Industrial House, Custom Pharma and possibly even the Agora. It will also move east on the north side of Conway Street, with the second stage redevelopment of the bus garages and the adjacent Network rail owned car park.
The planning of this second stage is now being moved forward by a joint urban design process established by the Council to work with with landowners including Matsim, the bus company and Network Rail. This initial work is inevitably ‘behind closed doors’, but a successful Referendum will provide the basis for the Forum to build on its experience of pre-application negotiations with developers and the council to press for a seat at the table, albeit within the limitations of ‘commercial confidentiality’.