Fwd: lobby councillors to stop Brighton Downland sales
LOBBYING BRIGHTON COUNCILLORS
TO STOP THE DOWNLAND SALES
Brighton Councillors to stop these sales. The notes will help you write your
objection, which is best put in your own personal way. Below are the addresses
of the Brighton Council P&R Committee members who MUST be written to by 7th
December objecting to the sales. (The Committee meets on 8th
December to decide whether to make the STOP on sales permanent). Additionally,
please send your objections to your own ward councillors.
1. The area of
open land ALREADY SOLD is c. 20 acres, which with the sold cottages has accrued
c. 94%of the likely total ££
receipts, though it covers only 20% of
the for–sale area.
The area of land
STILL TO BE SOLD is c. 100 acres, which may accrue a mere 6% of the total receipts, though it totals 80% of the for-sale area.
2. The Council has
already had its ‘pound of flesh’
from the covert sales of cottages and small land parcels. If they sold 20 cottages and grounds (and we
do not know exactly how many) that could total some £4 million. The
sales of other land parcels has brought in
c. £390,000. So thereceipts so
far total c. £4,390,000.
3. The remaining 2
sales (Plumpton Hill and Poynings Field) will bring in very little additional money: less
than £300,000, though they will incur real damage to their future
security as conservation assets. Thus: -
properties are subject to secure agricultural tenancies and will therefore only fetch circa 50% of their value at
Hill (67.4 acres) has a guide price of the pathetic sum of c. £2,225 per acre
and Poynings Field (25 acres) will be unlikely to get more than £6000 per acre.
-Both properties, on those figures, together
will bring in only some £300,000, which is the price of a single modest suburban family home in
Brighton...for the loss of almost 100 acres of high quality Downscape.
4. We do not NEED
to sell those remaining two important properties, because there are other
routes to acquire the funds for the Stanmer Park restoration plans.
The result of
BHCC’s £5m lottery bid will be known shortly – what matched-funding is being
levered in, other than from SD National Park and Plumpton College partners, to
achieve Stanmer Park’s proper restoration. With so much potential ready cash on
the table, it should be relatively easy to attract more funds to multiply
this sum. For example:
To develop Stanmer as a more self-sufficient park
the lottery has an attractive Heritage Enterprise grant;
As a major visitor attraction with great an
eco-tourism potential, the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership
would be keen to support appropriate infrastructure and employment
opportunities (and BHCC's role in the Greater Brighton Economic
Partnership should help this);
Stanmer provides the ideal outdoor (and indoor)
classroom for the hundreds of schools and colleges in and around Brighton
and the Downs – there are many educational trusts and funds that could be
tapped to realise this desirable aim (and BHCC has an external funding
expertise to source such monies);
Government grants are available for a range of
work and BHCC has already spent DfT money on more sustainable travel links
to Stanmer along the Lewes Road … extend such projects into Stanmer;
Interest rates are at an all-time low, a public
loan could be secured, and with the popularity of a restored Stanmer Park
the money paid back, with interest, in a very short space of time.
These 2 remaining properties
have multiple public qualities/values.
Plumpton Hill is mostly part of an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest - a national measure of
wildlife value). This designation, under private ownership, will NOT protect it
from damage and inappropriate management. It also has a SAM (Scheduled Ancient Monument) upon it: Bronze Age burial mounds.
It is one of the prominent viewpoints
from the South Downs Way over the forested Weald.
Poynings Field is a key part of the landscape setting – the framing – of the Devils Dyke heritage
landscape. It is also a vital part of
the setting of Poynings village, which will be vulnerable to pressure for
built development in private ownership. It is part of the landing grounds for hang gliders from the Dyke. It is an
excellent fossilling site for sea
creatures of the Early Cretaceous, and is the only Early Cretaceous site in
public ownership on the Brighton Downs.