Case Study. Land at Ovingdean, near Brighton.
Landvision offer services at a local, regional or national level. Past work has included Landvision landscape reports and input to advice for the residents groups of Deans Preservation Group. (DPG) to reduce the number of houses on a small field of un designated down land at Ovingdean, near Rottingdean, on the edge of SDNP.
The Inspector concluded that the housing gain would outweigh the ecological loss as Brighton & Hove Council could not demonstrate a 5 year housing land supply. Had this not been the case, the site could have become a Local wildlife Site, but the Council’s inaction to designate it as a LWS and the Urban Fringe assessment report by LUC for the development of 45 houses on the down land site, means that the development will now take place.
If the 5 year housing land supply had been met by Brighton and Hove City Council, the land was due to become a Local wildlife site in the next tranche of sites.
If B&HCC and SDNP Planning Authority had put ecology and landscape character and conservation higher, this down land site of rare Sussex species would not have been “effectively marooned without protection”.
Instead it will lose its local distinctiveness and traditional horse grazing and will become a large dense housing site on the edge of the small historic down land village of Ovingdean.
However, without Landvision’s work, the housing numbers on this site would have originally been far larger at 105.
Following our Landvision Landscape Assessment report this number was reduced from 350 for the whole area thence to 105 for a single field, to 85.
The application was successfully opposed by Brighton & Hove City Council using our Landvision Landscape Assessment report findings on that occasion.
At the second Public Inquiry, Landvision were asked to assist DPG at the eleventh hour when Brighton & Hove Council suddenly withdrew from the Inquiry after a “behind closed doors members meeting”. The Inspector was forced to request that DPG become a Rule 6 party.
Landvision appeared for DPG as landscape witness, to provide evidence to the Inspector on landscape matters, but as the group was unable to finance this, without the normal reliance on the assistance of a Barrister and without the back up of a Planning consultant.