City Downland Estate Plan - Have Your Say

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Brighton & Hove’s rural estate is made up of around 12,800 acres of land in the South Downs National Park. You can read about out City Downland Estate Plan on the council website.

Together with residents we are developing a new vision for this valuable asset in the city. It is a unique opportunity to explore how we can use this land to help tackle the climate and biodiversity emergencies and reduce carbon emissions.


Creation of the City Downland Estate Plan - UPDATE

The public engagement process held from November 2020 to April 2021, alongside Planning For Real, created a fantastic response from the wider Brighton & Hove community. A huge amount of feedback was submitted and this has been compiled in two reports that you can read in our ‘Public Engagement’ section on this page.

The work completed by the attendees of the ‘Carousel’ session in April 2021 to consider the findings from the public engagement process and put forward recommendations, has now been taken forward as the foundation that the draft City Downland Estate Plan will be created from.

Attendees at the ‘Carousel’ event worked in four break out groups and each put forward a proposal for the vision that will be used in the City Downland Estate Plan. Since the event in April, Planning For Real analysed these visions for reoccurring themes and led sessions with Councillors to build on these ideas and finalise the vision that will be used in the plan. You can read this here.


Next Steps

Now that the vision is in place, the draft City Downland Estate Plan can be developed. The action plan within this, that sets out the future plans for the estate will be created using the recommendations from the public engagement exercise, with input from BHCC officers/members, South Downs National Parks Assoc and key stakeholders.

We are also enlisting NatCap Research to consider the proposals being put forward within the action plan, in order to provide a measurement of the positive impact they would have on our natural capital.

Once the draft has been developed, it will then be taken to the South Downs National Parks Assoc for the first step in their process of endorsing this as a Whole Estate Plan.

After this, there will be another public engagement process where everyone will get a chance to review the draft plan and provide feedback. Further information on this will be forthcoming.

The indicative timeline that sets out the steps for creating the plan can be viewed below. This shows all the steps mentioned above as we move towards the plan being approved at the council’s Policy & Resources committee, and endorsed by the South Downs National Parks Assoc.

Thank you for your ongoing interest in the City Downland Estate Plan. If you have any questions on the above, please contact us at citydownlandestateplan@brighton-hove.gov.uk.

Brighton & Hove’s rural estate is made up of around 12,800 acres of land in the South Downs National Park. You can read about out City Downland Estate Plan on the council website.

Together with residents we are developing a new vision for this valuable asset in the city. It is a unique opportunity to explore how we can use this land to help tackle the climate and biodiversity emergencies and reduce carbon emissions.


Creation of the City Downland Estate Plan - UPDATE

The public engagement process held from November 2020 to April 2021, alongside Planning For Real, created a fantastic response from the wider Brighton & Hove community. A huge amount of feedback was submitted and this has been compiled in two reports that you can read in our ‘Public Engagement’ section on this page.

The work completed by the attendees of the ‘Carousel’ session in April 2021 to consider the findings from the public engagement process and put forward recommendations, has now been taken forward as the foundation that the draft City Downland Estate Plan will be created from.

Attendees at the ‘Carousel’ event worked in four break out groups and each put forward a proposal for the vision that will be used in the City Downland Estate Plan. Since the event in April, Planning For Real analysed these visions for reoccurring themes and led sessions with Councillors to build on these ideas and finalise the vision that will be used in the plan. You can read this here.


Next Steps

Now that the vision is in place, the draft City Downland Estate Plan can be developed. The action plan within this, that sets out the future plans for the estate will be created using the recommendations from the public engagement exercise, with input from BHCC officers/members, South Downs National Parks Assoc and key stakeholders.

We are also enlisting NatCap Research to consider the proposals being put forward within the action plan, in order to provide a measurement of the positive impact they would have on our natural capital.

Once the draft has been developed, it will then be taken to the South Downs National Parks Assoc for the first step in their process of endorsing this as a Whole Estate Plan.

After this, there will be another public engagement process where everyone will get a chance to review the draft plan and provide feedback. Further information on this will be forthcoming.

The indicative timeline that sets out the steps for creating the plan can be viewed below. This shows all the steps mentioned above as we move towards the plan being approved at the council’s Policy & Resources committee, and endorsed by the South Downs National Parks Assoc.

Thank you for your ongoing interest in the City Downland Estate Plan. If you have any questions on the above, please contact us at citydownlandestateplan@brighton-hove.gov.uk.

Your Contributions

Please share with us any of your work or projects on the South Downs and share your stories with us

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    Brighton and Hove Local Access Forum Feedback

    7 months ago

    (Submitted on behalf of a member of the Brighton & Hove Access Forum)

    City Downland Estate Plan (CDEP) – Update Webinar 24 February 2021

    I joined the above meeting last Wednesday via ZOOM, please see the program below:

    Tomorrow sees us hold our second Update Webinar related to the consultation process for the Whole Estate Plan for the City Downland Estate. The Webinar is due to start at 6PM on 24th February 2021, with the waiting room open from 5.45PM.

    The Webinar program will be:

    17:45 Waiting Room opens

    18:00 Welcome and Introductions

    18:10 Overview of the Engagement Program

    ... Continue reading

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    Withdean Branch Labour Party - CDE Submission

    7 months ago

    (Submitted on behalf of the Withdean Branch of the Labour Party)

    Download the submission from Withdean Branch of the Labour Party [PDF]



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    The Brighton and Hove Archaeological Society Recommendations

    7 months ago

    (Submitted on behalf of The Brighton and Hove Archaeological Society)

    Archaeological & Cultural Heritage

    a. Priority should be given to managing the Scheduled Ancient Monument archaeological sites along with their landscape contexts and settings.

    b. Other sites of high archaeological value should have priority for inclusion in projects of landscape-scale restoration, permanent managed grassland for sites and settings, deep cultivation ceasing on Archaeological Notification Areas, with lighter machinery utilised if or when cultivation continues.

    c. All cultural heritage to be recorded and monitored, with the appropriate protection, conservation, information and interpretation, to preserve, celebrate and better appreciate our rich downland... Continue reading

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    Thoughts for The Consultation

    7 months ago

    (Submitted on behalf of consultee)

    I hope, like a lot of people, that this Consultation will lead to real change for the City Downland Estate.

    Looking at the Chalk Grassland map that the Brighton Downs Alliance has produced shows just how fragmented the archaic chalk grassland is now and shockingly, how little remains. I really hope there will be a move to preserve what is left and link it by creating new grasslands where necessary. I like to search for Waxcap fungi in the Autumn, a sign of land that has been grazed long term and not tilled, and I... Continue reading

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    The Aquifer Partnership response to CDEP Consultations

    7 months ago

    (Submitted on behalf of The Aquifer Partnership)

    16.02.21

    This response has been prepared by The Aquifer Partnership (TAP), a collaboration of the Environment Agency, Southern Water, the South Downs National Park Authority, and Brighton and Hove City Council. TAP works to protect and improve the aquifer of the Brighton chalk block. 100% of the drinking water supplied to Brighton and Hove is sourced from this aquifer.

    Natural Systems:

    Soils and Farming

    • Encourage conservation agriculture according to the principles of: Minimising soil disturbance Maintaining green cover year round Utilise diverse crop rotations
    • Prioritise soil health to enable fully functioning ecosystem services... Continue reading

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    B&HCC Downland - Whole Estate Plan Consultation

    7 months ago

    (Submitted on behalf of The South Downs Society)

    The Friends of the South Downs (The South Downs Society), welcomes the opportunity to “Have a Say” on the creation of a Whole Estate Plan (WEP) for the City Downland owned by the Council.

    Our core business is campaigning and fundraising for the conservation and enhancement of the landscape of the South Downs National Park (SDNP) and its quiet enjoyment, recognising that these qualities can only be realised if the setting of the SDNP is also respected and protected. In particular we seek to ensure that the National Park purposes and duties... Continue reading

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    Whole Estate Plan for the City Downland Estate

    7 months ago

    (Submitted on behalf of Brighton Active Travel)

    Brighton Active Travel November 2020

    The Downs should be accessible to everybody in Brighton and Hove, including the 37% who do not have access to a car.

    We deplore the fact that noise and pollution from cars ruins the tranquillity and clean air of the Downland estate. Car parks also reduce the aesthetic appeal of the Downs.

    ‘Cosmetification ‘ of car parks behind hedges etc is not the answer; the aim should be to reduce demand and space for car parking.

    Many of the problems accessing the Downs via walking, cycling and bus... Continue reading

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    (Wild) woods and forests on the City Downland Estate

    7 months ago

    (Submitted on behalf of consultee)

    What I would like to see more of on the South Downs, including on Brighton & Hove City Council's Downland Estate, is more trees, more areas left to go wild, and preferably more areas of wild woodland and forest, albeit with some initial 'artificial' impetus. If possible i'd like to see a continuous forest along the whole of the South Downs, or as much of the South Downs as possible, and in conjunction with that for as much tarmac and concrete to be removed as possible, by which i mean all the roads and those... Continue reading

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    CDEP - Comments from a Hove resident

    7 months ago

    (Comments submitted on behalf of a Hove resident)


    * The Downland owned by the Council should be retained in Council possession.

    * The land should be farmed as efficiently as possible but also sustainably, with environmentally friendly methods, and with soil retention and soil improvement as major goals.

    * Education of young children should also be a major aim, with regular school visits encouraged, especially for children who rarely or never visit the countryside otherwise. BBC Countryfile is a good example of what can be achieved.

    * The farms could become centres of excellence, used for training or demonstration farms... Continue reading

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    CDEP - Comments from the Environment Agency

    7 months ago

    In essence we view the plan as a good opportunity to better manage the catchment and improve the environment. The area is reliant on the groundwater for its drinking water abstraction therefore protecting and improving the quality as well as ensuring effective recharge is highly important. Within the Downland Estate there are a number of drinking water abstraction points which have source protection and safeguard zones assigned to them within which actions are targeted to protect and enhance the groundwater. Currently the Brighton chalk block is of poor water quality in regard to Water Framework Directive classification with the primary... Continue reading

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Page last updated: 12 October 2021, 14:33