This morning, 31st January, 25 folk from Sussex Defend the NHS, the Brighton and Hove Housing Coalition and Save Whitehawk Hill, as well as the GMB union and all three main political parties, including Councillor Dave Gibson, picketed a Foundation Trust Meeting which controls the 10 acre General Hospital site, in Elm Grove to call for it to: –
– remain in 100% public ownership
– to be used for public social housing at social rents, and for retained NHS uses
Dave Bangs of ‘Save Whitehawk Hill’ said: –
“The future of all of our City urban fringe countryside depends crucially on an alternative housing strategy, and a linchpin of that is securing the 100% retention of the Gen Hosp for new public housing.
The General Hospital borders our Nature Reserve and the Race Ground and is part of the landscape of the Hill. It was on the same common as our LNR for a thousand years. It also is public land and it also is now at great risk. Its rightful future public purposes (NHS / public housing) exactly reinforce and underpin our own (nature / green public space / heritage). The largely-redundant General Hospital site provides a major opportunity for the creation of new council homes on a large scale.
We believe that this is part of the way forward, rather than pillaging the remaining crucial wildlife sites on our open Downland urban fringe”.