Update from Stephen White

In 2021 with support from our local ward, AGHAST fielded a single-issue candidate on the gasworks development in the local bi-election for Rottingdean Coastal. Despite being the first ever foray into local politics for all of us, and with no party machine supporting us, our brilliant candidate, Stephen White, came second by just a handful of votes. What this communicates load and clear us is the strength of local feeling about the gasworks development. This is a political issue and we call on all local councillors to advocate for the concerns of local residents about the plans.

A fantastic result, who only very narrowly missed getting elected.

Dear Members of AGHAST, concerned local residents & the electors of Rottingdean Coastal Ward,

After a very hard-fought campaign to get elected as a new Independent Councillor I must tell you that due to all your wonderful support and hard work as part of my election team, and to all of you who went out and voted for me at the Polling Stations I only very narrowly missed getting elected. However I’m pretty sure that I could have won had it not been for the unfortunate fact that there was one other Independent candidate, whose name was confusingly similar to mine, Wright not White, which resulted in quite a few ballot papers being deemed “spoilt” because some confused voters had either voted for both of us, or, in some cases, mistakenly voted for the wrong one of us.

Although this was unfortunate, all your helpful votes did do what we hoped they would do which was to send a very clear message to the Council that there is now an enormous groundswell against the present planning application by the Berkeley Group to massively over-develop the toxic East Brighton Gasworks site. So thank you all for your very much appreciated, and highly significant, votes.

Continue to tell The Council & The Berkeley Group these Very Clear Messages...

The Gasworks proposals are

unacceptable because:

  • The Site is Too Toxic

  • The Buildings are Too High and Too Dense

  • There will be No Affordable Housing for Locals.

Simply because I stood as a candidate in the election, with the issue of the Gasworks at the forefront of my campaign, we managed to raise a lot more public awareness of the issue. It was also clear that ALL the candidates for Councillor (of no matter which Party) have now openly declared themselves against the present planning application, and they are all agreed that it is, at the very least, a distinctly wrong-headed over-development of the site.

So with this issue now very much in the public eye I think it would be appropriate for us all to ride the wave of popular local opinion to once again start lobbying our existing Councillors, and the Labour Team, of MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle with his newly-elected Labour Councillor, Dr Robert Mcintosh to work on further strategies to get this current planning application thrown out and completely re-thought.

I know that many of you are probably thoroughly confused by what stage this application has now reached with the Council. I can only tell you that we have now been informed that it is in a temporary “holding pattern” and will not be ready for consideration by the Planning Committee until the late summer or autumn, at the earliest. However before it is brought before the committee we have been assured that it will be subject to a further round of public comment, and more objections may need to be submitted by local residents to the Council’s Planning Portal at that point, to take account of any amendments that may have been made to it.

But at all events you can be sure that we, on behalf of AGHAST & the Gasworks Coalition Group of 16 Brighton Amenity Groups, will keep on top of any further developments and will try and keep you as fully informed as possible via this website.

Yours with my sincerest thanks for all your votes of confidence and support

Stephen White