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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    Views from Patcham

    by Salycylic, 9 months ago

    I’m going to start with a story as it informs the specific comments I’d like to make about planning for the WEP. I’ve lived in Brighton for over twenty years, and for the last sixteen years in Patcham, with the Downs always in sight. While I was working, I looked forward every evening to the view of Downs from Handcross Hill as I drove back from Crawley, and the view glimpsed through trees from the road I live in in Patcham as I parked the car. I always felt very blessed to live where we do. Short walks from the... Continue reading

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    Beacon Hill Rottingdean

    by MikeJS, 9 months ago

    This area is the only open access space close to the village. The people who use this in the main are not hikers in boots but rather people going to the shops and school or taking their dogs for a walk. This is the only space near to our villages where people and dogs can walk freely. Therefore, it is extremely important that such freedom to roam and easy access is maintained. Currently, there appears to be a proposal to fence more of the Beacon and to graze more sheep up there for up to 4 months of the year... Continue reading

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    Older trees must be preserved in the fight against climate change

    by fiona milne, 9 months ago

    In a recent international study of 700,000 trees on every continent in the world, and published in Nature (507, March 6 2014, 90-93) they found that the rate of tree carbon accumulation increases with tree size. So, unexpectedly, the older the tree, the more quickly it grew, and trees with trunks more than 3 foot in diameter generated 3 times the biomass as trees half as wide.

    So what does this mean for us in Brighton? I think that, as well as carbon sequestration from chalk downland, we need to preserve our older trees. "Younger" trees that are planted, harvested... Continue reading

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    Regenerative farming

    by Polly C, 9 months ago

    BBC Sounds - English Pastoral by James Rebanks - Available Episodes

    This is a really interesting reflective account from a farmer in the north of England but he discusses chalk grassland and regenerative farming practices that he has decided to embrace as well as sharing the history of his family's farm and the effects of fertilizers from the 50's. It seems very relevant to what is happening in our area and suggests good practice for a sustainable future in farming.

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    We all have the right to enjoy Brighton Downs

    by Anne Tyndale, 9 months ago

    Members of Sussex SERA, The Labour Party Environment Campaign, have been walking, cycling and dawdling about on the downs for many years. We want the people of Brighton and Hove to be able to share our enjoyment and to feel at ease on these Downs which belong to them. However, the benefits of escaping from crowded city life can only be appreciated once they are experienced. We therefore urge the Council to do everything possible to make people feel welcome to the downs so, for a start, easy access by bus and traffic-free paths is essential.

    Learning goes on for... Continue reading

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    In Lockdown Hollingbury Hill becomes Hollingbury Common

    by Rachel Henson, 9 months ago

    Hollingbury Hill, including the golf course, Hillfort and Wildpark is one of the largest Estate Downland greenspaces within the city. It is a Local Nature Reserve and part of South Downs National Park. During the lockdowns, when golf ceases to be played, this area becomes a haven for the communities who live next to it: Coldean, Moulsecoomb, Hollingdean and Hollingbury. In the spring and summer of 2020 more than 100 people an hour could be seen enjoying the Hill.

    It makes a huge difference to the wellbeing of people who live nearby because you can walk out of your door... Continue reading

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    Coldean Site 21

    by Polly C, 9 months ago
    I am concerned that trees are to be felled and tower blocks built on the land next to Varley Halls in Coldean. This doesn't seem a progressive step in the light of a declared climate emergency and also being on top of our chalk aquifer. It also seems completely contradictory to the introduction given by Kim Wilkie in the online consultation sessions - where he talks about planting trees to screen off roads and tower blocks - as this is cutting down trees and then building tower blocks.??? It makes no sense. It also appears that this won't be entirely... Continue reading

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    Sussex Oxen - A Lost History

    by Sue Craig, 9 months ago

    Since mentioning oxen at one of the online consultations last month, I've put together a selection of vintage slides showing how men and oxen toiled together to plough these South Downs as recently as the 1930s. I've uploaded to YouTube and this is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJVh2HbUTg0&t=6s.
    The video is receiving some favourable comments, so perhaps my dream of living long enough to witness an ox-ploughing competition might yet be achievable.



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    The Aquifer Partnership - An Introduction

    by AimeeFelus, 9 months ago

    We are protecting the precious water held beneath our feet. From towns to downs we all rely on it. Now, next year, in the next decade and in the next century, we’ll always need it. The Aquifer Partnership (TAP) is safeguarding the water we’ll need for years to come.

    Find out more here:

    The Aquifer Partnership Introduction

    Or take a look at our website:

    wearetap.org.uk





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    Whole Estate Plans and South Downs National Park

    by Natacha Bricks-Yonow, 10 months ago

    Whole Estate Plans are a document prepared by individual landowning organisations.

    They set out the assets of the organisation and the opportunities and threats which the organisation may encounter, and describes their plans for the future.

    A Whole Estate Plan should include environmental and social assets and issues as well as economic development projects.

    The concept is to encourage open dialogue between land owning organisations and the National Park, to look at land holdings in their entirety in order to be as holistic as possible.

    The intention is to provide clear baseline information which can then be used to identify... Continue reading

Page last updated: 12 October 2021, 14:33