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

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    Southern Water's Catchment Programme

    by Robin Kelly, 8 months ago

    Southern Water has an ambitious catchment programme this AMP (2020-25) and is committed to working with stakeholders on the South Downs to protect and improve our drinking water sources.

    Download the Southern Water Catchment Programme Presentation

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    Equine Gentling - healing horses, the land and humans

    by Equine Gentling, 8 months ago

    We would like to introduce Equine Gentling and the Harmony Community Farm Collaboration. We believe we would be an incredible asset to the Downland Estate, offering something truly unique.

    Equine Gentling - Healing horses to heal humans and our land. A community herd of 14 horses committed to conservation grazing and being available to all who need us.

    The Hope Charity Project - Supporting young people and their families suffering with mental health when they need us most.

    Soul Food Brighton - A community cooking project using waste and home grown food to deliver meals to those who need us.

    ... Continue reading

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    Woodingdean Wilderness Group- protects nature, health and ecosystems for and with our community

    by Woodingdean Wilderness Group, 8 months ago

    Our intention is to bring people together to create biodiverse and sustainable public green spaces that promotes: our natural ecosystems and its wildlife; people's health, happiness, well-being; and improves the quality of life for those in the Woodingdean area through our activities.

    As well as meeting local needs, Woodingdean Wilderness Group aims to meet the BHCC Carbon Neutral 2030 plan pledges to protect nature, health and ecosystems in order to reduce carbon emissions and put in place long-term solutions to safeguard the planet for the next generation.

    We are pleased to be a member of the Brighton Downs Alliance and... Continue reading

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    Light is part of climate.

    by Steve Geliot, 8 months ago
    I am currently authoring a paper on light pollution from twelve sports stadia across England for the Federal Institute of Geoscience in Potsdam. I am also well known for my Put That Light Out Campaign. The data I have going back to 2013 shows a massive leap in light pollution caused by the grow lights at the Amex Stadium which were introduced with tragic irony in 2016 just when the South Downs National Park gained international Dark Skies Designation. I used the VIIRS DNB satellite system to measure light emissions from the wider city area and then measured a smaller... Continue reading

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    Organic, Agroecological Food Production

    by Regenerative Agriculture, 8 months ago

    Brighton CSA- Fork and Dig It contributes it’s view to The Downland Estate consultation.


    Brighton and Hove have been awarded the Gold Sustainable Food Place award recently so it would be incredible if we could be national leaders in starting the conversion of more land ie, The Downland Estate to organic status. This only take 3 years and is a process Stanmer Organics (sadly only 17 acres) began back in 2005, achieving Soil Association accreditation since 2008.

    Brighton CSA- Fork and Dig It are based on 2 acres of Stanmer Organics land, a beacon of good practise and inspiration for... Continue reading

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    Dedicated Mountain Bike Trails at Stanmer/Wild Park

    by Sam Finkle, 8 months ago

    For too long there have been no dedicated mountain bike trails, and as a result there have often been dangerous confrontations between trail users. Mountain bikers will continue to ride, and walkers will continue to walk. There’s no stopping that.


    However, this is when legal, dedicated and well signposted trails will come into great use. Signposts can clearly show who can use the trail, and who cannot. Meaning bikers and walkers will stick to their own trails or the provided multi-use trail.

    Look towards Queen Elizabeth Park (just north of Portsmouth) as a great example. There are dedicated trails for... Continue reading

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    UPDATED MAPS Of Brighton's Downland Estate

    by friendsofthebrightondowns, 8 months ago

    These maps are the first in a growing public resource that will be added to over time, published now to inform Brighton City Council's WEP (Whole Estate Plan) public consultation of 2020-2021. They are based on information which has been held in paper form for many years made available for the first time as interactive digital maps. >>Access Interactive Maps Here<<


    The suite of maps fall into four natural groupings.

    BHCC Land Assets & Individual Farms

    Overlaying those two maps you will see that individual Brighton Council let Downland farms often correspond to distinct land units in Brighton Council's ownership... Continue reading

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    N oise Pollution

    by Anne Tyndale, 8 months ago

    Members of SERA, The Socialist Environment and Resources Association, think that the opportunity to find peacefulness should be a priority for those walking on the downs. Although the South Downs National Park is one of the most heavily visited areas in the UK it is still possible to come upon unspoilt places with a timeless sense of tranquillity and space. There are also areas with no light pollution from the city where abundant stars and sometimes showers of meteors, can be seen in areas of dark night skies.

    Quietness is essential for taking the opportunity to collect thoughts, get in... Continue reading

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    All new developments in BHCC

    by Ian, 8 months ago
    Please make the houses at least 90% energy efficient and protect nature.

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    Pesticide free downs

    by msbarlow, 8 months ago

    The downs are indeed very beautiful and since living in Moulscoomb for over 10 years I have got to know my local area very well. The downs back onto the estate in a very steep slope, and thr connecting fields I see have the use of pesticides. This saddens me, for all the knowledge we have on how detrimental to human existence, wildlife and nature as a whole, you would hope as residents we could do something about this.

    I know this would mean a radical overhaul of how our farmers work, but surely our health and the health of... Continue reading

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Page last updated: 12 October 2021, 14:33