- September 7, 2020
Brighton Gasworks campaign group, AGHAST*, want more of a say in how the site should be used.
At an outdoor meeting in East Brighton Park, residents voiced concerns on issues surrounding the redevelopment of the former gasworks.
St William, part of the Berkely group, currently have plans to build between 600-700 new homes on the site.
They say it will provide “jobs and homes for local people” and help as part of the city’s “social and economic” Covid-19 recovery.
But local residents fear that the redevelopment will have a negative impact on their community.
“It’s a site within the community,and we feel as a community, we need to join forces in order to inform choices about how it’s going to be used”, Becky East, AGHAST organiser, told Latest TV.
“We are trying to build a coalition around East Brighton in order to make our voices effectively heard”.
Lloyd Russell-Moyle, MP for Brighton Kemptown spoke to residents at the meeting.
He said he supported this community-based organisation.
“We are making sure that the community is listened to”, he said to Latest TV.
“Hopefully we get a solution here that can work for all – I think there is a solution that works for all – if we thought creatively.
We’ve got the Black Rock site, the Marina and the ASDA carpark and we’ve got this site here.
Why are we just allowing it to be picked off by the big developers? It should be the community working out what will work for everyone.
Let’s get that jigsaw right and rather than trying to fit the wrong pieces in the wrong places, let’s make sure they fit neatly.”
The meeting was also attended by Brighton and Hove City councillors from across all political parties.
Speakers included Green Party Councillor Tom Druitt and Independent Councillor Bridget Fishleigh.
“From a residents perspective, I’m incredibly concerned about the contaminated”, Tom Druitt told the group.
“I think it’s irresponsible of us to develop on such a polluted site… I think we really need to understand what’s underground and what will it do to us when it does come up”.
The group said they are continuing to grow their campaign until their demands are heard.
“As an organisation, AGHAST has got three demands,”, Becky said.
“One is around the transparent analysis of the contamination of the site.
The second is about reductions of the proposed density and height of the buildings, which are completely out of keeping with everything in the local area.
The third is around affordable housing. It just feels immoral to be building swanky new flats that won’t be affortable to the majority of people who live in Brighton”.
St William hopes to submit a planning application to Brighton and Hove City Council by the end of the year.
Report by Olivia Marshall, Latest TV
For more Latest TV coverage on the Gasworks redevelopment click here.
* Action on Gasworks Housing Affordability Safety and Transparency.