City plan – consultation open

Consultation on the scoping for the second part of the City Plan is open.

It’s a bit like pre-planning the planning before the plan, but it’s the most influential document the city will produce in the next decade, so we think it’s important to engage with it.

From a Building Green perspective, there are a number of relevant questions. We don’t want to lead you, but the following seem particularly important to the future of Brighton & Hove’s environmental infrastructure.

Question B3 Should the City Plan Part Two include a Green Infrastructure landscape scale approach that reflects the joint work led by the South Downs National Park Authority with other authorities?

 Question B6 Should the City Plan Part Two update the locally designated SNCIs in accordance with the 2013 SNCI technical review and rename them Local Wildlife Sites?

 Question B7 Are there any other sites or features that should be included or specifically addressed through planning policy? (e.g. Ancient woodland, aged/veteran trees, local geological/geodiversity sites?)

 Question P5 Is it necessary to have a detailed policy to protect the quality and potential yield of water resources to guide all future new development?

 Question P9 Given the existing national guidance and approach, is it necessary to have an updated policy on sustainable drainage in the City Plan Part Two?

You can comment using the online survey at:

Here is the official blurb.

“Work on Part Two of the City Plan started on 30 June. It is in an early stage of consultation on the document and an opportunity to shape the Plan.

 ·         The Part 2 Plan will deliver the aims and targets set out in Part One (e.g. housing targets, business space, community facilities) – it will allocate sites for development, contain detailed development policies (e.g. design, accessibility within buildings and travel, public realm, safer places). At this stage there are no detailed policies or site allocations – instead the issues are outlined and key questions asked.

 ·         The scoping document outlines a number of policy topic areas for Part 2 – like housing, employment, transport and natural environment. It outlines the key issues under these topics that will need to be addressed and invites comments via a number of questions. A leaflet is attached.

 ·         The consultation period will be for 3 months from 30 June to 22 September. 

 ·         Next steps – draft Plan by Autumn 2017.”

Huge potential for green roofs to improve the centre of Brighton

The first feasibility study and audit of the potential for green roofs in Brighton has been published.

green roof

Green roof on the Velo cafe, The Level, Brighton – image by Building Green

The study examined a study area in Central Brighton, to assess the potential benefits of establishing green roofs.

It finds that 61 hectares of roofs in Central Brighton are suitable for retrofitting with green roofs, in a way which brings nature, summer cooling and storm water management benefits and improves the attractiveness of the cityscape.

This is equivalent to 87 football pitches-worth of new green roof space in the 9km2 area of the city that runs between the West pier and Dyke Road, and from Bear Road to Kemptown.

This area is highly urbanised, is susceptible to surface water flooding, and has limited open green space.

More on the benefits:

  • In terms of urban drainage benefits, it is estimated that 61ha of ‘biodiverse’ green roofs could attenuate between 3507.5m³ and 244,000m3 of storm water. In other words, up to 100 Olympic swimming pools of water would be held back from the city’s roads and drains at peak times. This could have a significant combined effect in reducing flooding and the need for additional, costly, engineering infrastructure.
  • Approximately 2.3MWh of electricity could be saved every year on cooling costs for buildings – via reduced or avoided air conditioning.
  • Greening roofs would also reduce the Urban Heat Island Effect, potentially providing an additional saving in cooling costs in the region of 1.3million kWh per annum.
  • The centre of Brighton would be far more attractive at roof level.

This work should be of interest to planners, architects, developers, environmentalists, householders and city businesses.

Download the Brighton Green Roof Audit

The study was prepared by Ben Kimpton (Senior Ecologist – The Ecology Consultancy) and The Green Roof Consultancy, it was supported by Matthew Thomas (former Ecologist – Brighton & Hove City Council), James Farrell (Chair – Brighton and Hove Building Green), Dusty Gedge (Founder – and Director – The Green Roof Consultancy) and Lee Evans (Director – Organic Roofs).