Martin Randall, head of planning and public protection at Brighton and Hove City Council, has called on neighbouring authorities, including the South Downs National Park Authority, to help the region meet housing need. I think Martin is absolutely right. The National Housing Federation has said that the number of new homes needed in East Sussex alone is set to increase from 354,600 in 2012 to 434,000 by 2033.
Yet the National Housing Federation has reported that Sussex Councils have reduced their house-building targets for the next 15 years by 43%. In Mid Sussex the target has been reduced from 17,100 to just 10,600.
Neighbouring authorities may not like it, but the Brighton and Hove economy is the powerhouse within the region and the well-being of neighbouring authorities, including Adur, Worthing, Crawley, Lewes, Mid Sussex and others, depend on a balance provision of housing and jobs across all authorities.
Eastbourne Borough Council deserves praise, having increased its target from 4,800 new homes to 5,022, and Worthing which has maintained its 4,000 target.
Brighton and Hove, under successive administrations, has had vision regarding the provision of housing, its economic success and that of the sub region. Far from Brighton and Hove trying to push housing need onto neighbouring areas, as claimed by the leader of Crawley Borough Council, the City Council is doing what it can but wider co-operation is necessary if we are to meet the housing needs of our children and others, and for the ongoing success of the sub regional economy.