I was delighted to hear the news of Brighton & Hove City Council’s decision on 20th April 2016 to turn down the three planning applications to develop the St Aubyns school campus in Rottingdean.
I have worked for a long time alongside local residents’ associations and the SAFE (St Aubyns Field Evergreen) group to fight the planning applications which would have seen a total of 58 houses and a 62-bedroom care home built on this greenfield site.
There were concerns about the provision of school places and GP places locally which are already under considerable pressure and concern that the sewage and drainage infrastructure would not be sufficient to cope with the many additional residential properties that would be built if this application had been approved.
In addition, the application was for a very large number of properties in a relatively small area, and so would have been very high density. This would be likely to negatively affect the present character of Rottingdean village.
Another concern was the partial loss of the old school playing field at St Aubyns as part of this proposed development. Local people feel that it is inappropriate that a precious green space in the village should be lost in order that more buildings can be constructed.
I am obviously delighted that the application has been refused. I would like to pay tribute to the work of the SAFE group and the local councillors and residents’ associations who have worked so hard against this proposal. Local people have made their voice heard loud and clear on this matter.
I firmly believe the City Council should be actively looking at brownfield and city centre sites and larger areas that could be developed, such as Shoreham Harbour, in order to meet the city’s housing demand long before looking at greenfield sites.