HJA was appointed to deliver a socio-economics EIA chapter as part of an Environmental Statement for a residential-led mixed-use development at the Toad’s Hole Valley development site in Hove.
The site was allocated within the Brighton and Hove City Plan Part 1 in 2016, and a prior planning application – aligned to the City Plan policy – was submitted in 2018 but remained undetermined due to outstanding transport issues. A new application included a number of changes to the masterplan and description of development, particularly to the western part of the site. The development includes delivery of over 1,000 dwellings, 25,000 sqm of employment floorspace, a neighbourhood centre, GP practice, public open space, and a sports hub.
HJA was commissioned to prepare a new Socio Economic Analysis for the EIA to take account of the changes to the description of the development, newly released data on baseline conditions and changes to the list of schemes relevant to the cumulative assessment.
A quantitative analysis was undertaken by establishing baseline data of the study area on which the final impact assessment could be developed. This was set out using official data from various sources including the ONS, Brighton and Hove Council, and NHS Digital. The socio-economic baseline was wide in scope and was established using population trends and demographics, information on housing, households and housing affordability, key labour market data such as economic activity rates, education and skills and occupational and employment structures and employment land. Information on education, healthcare, and sports facilities was also presented following HJA research and analysis.
The impact of the construction phase was modelled on the basis of employment and supply chain opportunities generated by the development. The assessment found that the construction phase would have a major beneficial impact. The contribution during the operational phase of employment floorspace, neighbourhood centre, home-based businesses, domestic local spend, and a new GP surgery to delivering and supporting jobs were assessed as having significant beneficial long-term effects. The provision of outdoor space and sports facilities were also considered to have beneficial long-term effects.
Our work contributed to the successful approval of the new scheme in May 2022.