Good morning, and welcome to the Brighton Seagull's Monday Briefing! There's a fair few more of you than there were last week, so welcome all; we hope you enjoyed the weekend's thunderstorms and will enjoy the news we're about to bring you.
News This Week
yes that's right we're already thinking about Christmas
City Plan voted through despite housing controversy
The council's 10 year plan for the city, City Plan Part Two, was approved last Thursday by 29 votes to 10, despite its green space and housing controversies.
The plan, which outlines environmental, housing and commerce planning policies and focuses for the council until 2030, includes green spaces signalled as being suitable for housing.
These spaces include 16 sites on the edge of and near the South Downs, where more than 900 houses could be built in the next seven years and which has been opposed by campaigners.
According to Green and Labour councillors, government inspections revealed a need for more housing sites to be found by the council, and this included Benfield Valley (where a petition against development is close to 5,000 signatures) and Whitehawk nature reserve, home to a butterfly bank which is under threat.
Seven sites are of particular interest in the plan, including the Sackville Trading Estate and coal yard in Hove, and Brighton General Hospital in Elm Grove, as well as 39 brownfield sites. These sites would bring at least 2,400 more houses to the city.
Just 100 extra beds in the hospital after the redevelopment
Once the renovations at The Royal Sussex County Hospital have been finished, only up to 100 extra beds will have been made available.
This has led to raised eyebrows from residents and councillors as to the number of extra space given the £700 million spent on the modernisation project.
According to the hospital, there will be five times more space around the beds than in old wards, nearly two thirds of beds will be in private rooms with ensuites, and most rooms will have sea views, balconies and terraces.
Peter Larsen-Disney, a senior doctor at the hospital and clinical director for the redevelopment, said it's more than just the beds: there are new operating theatres, interventional radiology suites, and the neurology department will be moving to the hospital from the Princess Royal in Haywards Heath.
The project is based around 'the 3Ts': trauma, teaching and tertiary care. The hospital say they don't want patients to simply be in a bed, they want them to be experiencing therapies, physio and more to make sure they're in hospital for as short a time as possible.
The hospital redevelopment is planning to be completed in 2026.
🖋 News in Brief 🖋
- The Christmas lights were spotted going up yesterday by our editor, who is very excited for the festive season. Ho ho ho!
- Speaking of Christmas (we're not sorry), Brighton and Hove Buses is looking for businesses to help collect money for charity alongside Father Christmas and the Santa bus this December. This year's 12 charities include RISE, Fareshare Sussex and Martlets. To find out more, click here.
The Big One
LGBT+ night shelter to open
What's happening? LGBT Switchboard, a Brighton-based charity that provides a listening service to LGBT+ people, is opening Brighton's first LGBT+ winter night shelter.
Very good! While it's sad that the shelter is needed, it's good that LGBT+ people in need of help will have a safe place to go during the cold, dark winter nights.
Why now? It's being launched as a direct result of research conducted by LGBT Switchboard last year—of the 600 respondents to the survey, 22% said they were living in unsafe housing, rising to 60% of those aged 24 and under, and 40% of trans and non-binary people.
LGBT Switchboard also said that since its domestic abuse service opened in January this year, it's spent thousands of pounds on emergency accommodation for survivors who would otherwise have nowhere to go.
Stonewall Housing said:
Our community do not feel safe in mainstream housing services.
Our homelessness is therefore considered 'invisible' as we rely on mutual aid / sofa surfing, transactional sex or hiding our identity to stay safe.
A HUGE thanks and well done to LGBT Switchboard for kicking this off. We're excited to continue and bolster our work with you, The Ledward Centre and The Outside Project on such a vital resource for our community.
How can I help? Spread the word using #HomelessQueersBrighton, and sign up to LGBT Switchboard's mailing list here to find out details on how to get involved.