Labour Lead on Planning, Cllr Nick Childs, has warned of the urgent need to review services and infrastructure in Saltdean and other areas earmarked for ambitious house building programmes.
Following a decision by the Planning Committee on to approve 70 new homes in the town, including 29 affordable homes on 28th November, Cllr Childs has put a formal question to the Council at this week’s Full Council meeting asking what will be done to ensure that news developments will not impact negatively on existing and new residents when it comes to medical services such as GP and dental surgeries, schools, leisure facilities and transport, including roads and congestion.
“We are all aware of the need for more housing in our city, especially affordable housing, to address the housing crisis, but where significant new developments like at Coombe Farm in Saltdean, occur it is critical that the council takes the lead in both planning for future needs of residents and taking the lead in terms of coordinating services with other public bodies such as the NHS, the Post Office and Bus Companies”
“In the case of Coombe Farm, Saltdean is a lovely place to live, but already it lacks sufficient NHS dental services and GP places are under strain. Recent closures of a nursery and dentist highlight the current lack of planning for the future and this is a situation that cannot continue”.
“An assessment of future school places has found that there are sufficient local places available, but the Council needs to be sensitive to the impact that additional residents may have on the local primary schools and be mindful of the needs of families parents when assessing local availability of places – this means that the travel time to local schools must be factored into any assessment as well the religious denomination of the schools nearby”
“As a City, moving towards active travel, 20 minute neighbourhoods, where people can access services within 20 minutes of their home and carbon neutrality are priorities, but this means action and not just warm words. When building new homes we need to plan how people can travel to their nearest school not just the distance, how they can get into town and if affordable public transport provision and highways are sufficient”
With a number of exciting new developments planned under City Plan 2 to address our city’s shortage, we need, as a council, to be thinking now, about integrating developments in a sustainable way. If we do not, we should not be surprised if local residents remain sceptical and concerned for the future”
A number of new housing developments are currently or have recently being built including in Hove, Coldean, Saltdean as well as 180 new council homes commissioned by the previous Labour Administration.
Lloyd Russell-Moyle, MP for Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven, who represents Saltdean added:
“I commend the question by Councillor Childs, in the rush to ensure we are building sufficient housing in the city and surrounding areas we can’t overlook the pressures of local services.
“I‘ve been successfully working with the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group to get new GPs in the area and the bus company to preserve services but it’s not good enough to be fighting fires when the problems have already arisen.
“We need more housing but we need sustainable housing with the right amenities from the outset.”
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