I’ll start by explaining my long absence – it has something to do with the birth of two little girls called Matilda and Josephine. My daughters are now 10 months old, and active enough to keep both their parents busy 24/7 – leaving no time for blogging I’m afraid!
Although I love raising children, I’ve been itching to write some new posts here, as the issues I’ve been discussing on this blog continue to rumble on. House prices in Brighton and Hove continue to soar, developers continue to draw up proposals, and conservationists/ homeowners continue to push back vociferously. Meanwhile, countless thousands of people agonize over whether to move out to Shoreham, Burgess Hill, Peacehaven or – shock, horror – to another part of the country altogether.
One case in particular has interested me recently. Brighton’s Argus newspaper reported that hundreds have signed a petition against a new development by Preston Park, which will replace an eyesore sometimes described as ‘Brighton’s ugliest building’.
The petition criticizes the lack of affordable housing – which I agree we desperately need – but its call for a return to the drawing board is unhelpful. The project has already been through a number of iterations, and developers on any city plot are likely to have limited patience. Our city needs to be one that looks forward, and proclaims itself open to business, and if plans continue to be knocked back in search of the ‘perfect development’, we will achieve the opposite effect.
I’m hoping to come back to this blog more frequently, as there’s a real need for an examination of the changing face of the city. Each new project needs to be assessed on its merits, and we owe it to all of Brighton’s residents to think carefully and fairly about how the city develops in future.