Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Council statement on the sale of downland

Poynings from Dyke Hill

The proposed sale of three council-owned Downland sites to support the Stanmer Park restoration project does not put Downland around the city at risk. The sites represent less than one per cent of the total estate and all are protected by the highest level of statutory protection, irrespective of ownership.

We developed a vision for this land in the 2006 Downland Initiative, (now the City Downland Estate Policy), which was the first formal policy to recognise the importance of the Downland estate.

Consideration of environment and social value is very much part of the council’s vision for the estate. It aims to reconnect the people of Brighton & Hove to the Downland through better education, improved access and a sense of connection to the land.

Sales of two sites at Poynings and Plumpton Hill will raise £360,000, half of which will be invested into restoring the city’s biggest park at Stanmer and the other half will go towards the council’s capital investment and budget strategy contributing to service delivery. The third piece of land has been sold.

Fourteen surplus farm cottages were approved for sale by committee in July 2016. The proceeds from this will support the redevelopment of the traditional agricultural buildings at Home Farm.

The city council (and before that the Brighton Corporation) has extensive experience of managing Downland, built up over many decades. The local authority bought Downland in the late 19th century.

Find out more about the council’s involvement and current proposals for the Downland estate .

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