Have your say on Brighton Downland

3rd December 2020

Find out about the Downland Estate Plan consultation and about the work of the Brighton Downs Alliance.

Brighton Downland

Are you interested in helping shape what happens to the wonderful downland owned by Brighton & Hove City Council?

There’s a great opportunity to have your say at consultation events on now.

Book quickly as they are proving very popular!

The Whole Estate Plan is essentially a blueprint for what the Downs around the city will look like for the next 100 years so it is an amazing opportunity.

Find out more and book here:

www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/city-downland-estate-plan-0

There is also a new way to get involved with the City Downland Estate Plan by joining the community online here.  On this page you can…..

  • Share any work/studies/websites which relate to the downland estate so that everyone can read them in the ‘Your Contributions’ section
  • Raise questions/issues/opinions that can be discussed openly, with contributions from Brighton & Hove City Council in the ‘Discussions’ section
  • Contribute your opinions/ideas/concerns directly to our engagement process through the links to the consultation portal
  • Find information on other ways that you can be involved in the process of creating the City Downland Estate Plan

As one of the four key themes within the City Downland Estate Plan is climate change, see the City Council’s ‘Let’s Talk Climate Change’ platform here.

Please visit the page, sign in and join the community!

Below is the indicative timeline for the process of creating the City Downland Estate Plan, so that you can see the key steps, plus how and where you can be involved in the process.

CDEP timeline

You can find more information, plus news and updates on the process, on the Brighton & Hove City Council webpages here.

This is a once in a lifetime chance to set out a vision for the future of the City’s downland estate.

Brighton Downs Alliance (BDA)

As part of the Brighton Downs Alliance network we are working ensure our down-land estate is restored and freely accessible to the public.

The estate was bought by the City Council with the aim of controlling development, protecting drinking water, maintaining biodiversity and providing green space for public access.

However, over the years the purpose of this public land seems to have been forgotten – land has been sold off to private developers, farmed intensively with loss of wildlife, damage to cultural heritage and pollution of the aquifer, signs have been erected stating ‘private land, no public access’.

The Alliance was formed at the beginning of the year as different interest groups saw a golden opportunity for the City Council to restore the Downs around the city when leases for two golf courses expired. This provided the chance to move away from the chemical use and the heavy water demands of the current management on these sites and towards restoration and positive action to begin reversing the steep decline in biodiversity around the city.

The Brighton Downs Alliance wants to see the Council planning for full down-land ecosystem restoration, community-led food growing and open, free public connection with our local heritage and a right to roam.

Ideally the City Council will work with others, including the Brighton & Lewes Downs Biosphere Partnership (The Living Coast), to create a long-term, sustainable plan to bring in revenue while increasing biodiversity and providing many other public benefits.  We want BHCC to talk to and work collaboratively with residents, the South Downs National Park Authority and everyone who is involved with the downs and their rich heritage in developing a plan for the downs estate.

We will be asking the Council to think creatively and set a new direction for management of the Brighton Downs Estate and deliver on the City’s environmental responsibilities. It cannot, with the issue facing the city today, simply continue with business as usual.

Brighton & Hove Residents 

We want Brighton & Hove City Council to:

– respect the fact that this is public land

– properly address the problems caused by intensive land use

– tackle climate change and biodiversity decline by restoring permanent chalk grassland to lock up carbon and increase wildlife

– provide quality public access

If you live in Brighton and Hove, please contact your councillors as soon as possible to let them know that you support the development of a whole estate plan and the restoration of our rare chalk grassland.

Find out more:

www.brightondownsalliance.org.uk