Update to Food Growing and Development Planning Advice Note

Date of Meeting:

24 September 2020

Report of:

Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture

Contact Officer:


Helen Pennington


01273 292333



Ward(s) affected:







1.1         This report seeks approval of the 2020 Update to the Food Growing and Development Planning Advice Note (PAN). The Planning Advice Note provides technical guidance on the integration of food growing opportunities within new developments, including best practice examples and design considerations to help meet planning policy for sustainable development.


2.         RECOMMENDATIONS:    


2.1         That the Committee adopts the 2020 Update to the Planning Advice Note: Food Growing and Development, attached as Appendix 1, subject to the finalisation of any document design matters, including any additional images and visuals, by the Head of Planning and any minor editorial changes in consultation with the Chair of TECC Committee.






3.1         Planning Advice Notes are prepared to provide detailed technical guidance and information on planning policy matters and are aimed at developers, architects, landscape designers and local authority planning officers. They do not introduce any new requirements for planning applicants or introduce new planning policy. Guidance within a Planning Advice Note (PAN) will have some weight as a material consideration in the determination of planning applications.


3.2         Brighton & Hove is recognised as a pioneer for sustainable food through its cross-sector activity led by the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership. As a city, Brighton & Hove was the first to adopt a Food Growing PAN in 2011 to encourage developers to include space for food growing in new development. It was also the first city to achieve Silver ‘Sustainable Food City’ status in 2015. Brighton and Hove Food Partnership is currently working to achieve Gold ‘Sustainable Food City’ status on behalf of the city, with a final submission due November 2020. The adoption of this PAN was included as an aspiration in the 2018 bid so will directly help with achieving the award.


3.3         The preparation of the PAN has been undertaken as a joint exercise between Brighton & Hove City Council Planning and Sustainability officers and the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership. The initial drafting of the PAN was funded by the Food Partnership, using funding from the Esmée Fairbairn foundation to employ expertise from national food organisation Sustain.



Policy context


3.4         Since the publication of the 2011 Food Growing PAN, the City Plan Part One has been adopted and Part Two of the City Plan is now being brought forward. Many of the City Plan policies positively encourage the provision of food growing as part of achieving sustainable development.


3.5         Creating a more sustainable city is central to the vision and strategy for the City Plan. The updated PAN specifically supports the implementation of City Plan Part One policy CP8 Sustainable Buildings, which expects developments to demonstrate how they encourage food growing. The PAN also supports the delivery of a number of other City Plan policies including CP18 Healthy City and SA6 Sustainable Neighbourhoods.


3.6         The PAN also helps to meet the objectives of the Brighton & Hove Food Strategy Action Plan (2013, updated 2018), adopted by the council and the Local Strategic Partnership (now Brighton Connected), and by the Brighton & Hove Wellbeing Board, which seeks to ensure residents have the opportunity to eat healthy food from sustainable sources. The current COVID19 situation also demonstrates how important it is that residents have access to healthy food and that opportunities for food growing are important for mental health and well-being.



Content of the guidance



3.7         The 2020 PAN provides guidance on how food growing can be successfully integrated within new development, includes best practice examples and outlines practical consideration to ensure planting is successful. The 2020 PAN has been updated to:

·           Reflect current adopted and emerging local planning policy (City Plan Part 1 and Proposed Submission City Plan Part 2)

·            Reflect national planning policy (NPPF)

·           Provide further information on food-growing design options and their potential suitability

·            Provide advice on management and maintenance considerations







4.1         In 2017, Brighton & Hove City Council, in partnership with the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership, pledged to become a “Veg City” as part of the “Peas Please” initiative to increase vegetable consumption across the UK. This included a commitment to consider production of a Food Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) to improve upon and replace the existing Food Growing and Development PAN 2011.


4.2         In order to progress this commitment in a timely manner, a PAN rather than a statutory SPD has been produced. Improvements and updates to the PAN have meant that the objectives of this commitment have been achieved.


4.3         The alternative option of not updating the Food Growing PAN would result in relying on guidance that does not reflect the current adopted planning policy framework or that emerging through City Plan Part Two. The opportunity to update the guidance with new methods of implementing food growing and learning from best practice would also be lost.    





5.1         The PAN was subject to informal stakeholder discussion. This included seeking comments on an early draft by emailing individuals and organisations with an interest in food growing including food growers at the Food Partnership and academics interested in food growing at the University of Brighton; shared through social media; internal consultation with council officers including the Sustainability team and Planning’s Development Management team; and presentation and discussion with the Planning Agents Forum, which comprises local architects and planning agents.


5.2         Feedback was positive and input from stakeholders valuable in helping to shape the content of the document.


6.         CONCLUSION


6.1         This updated Planning Advice Note will further support the integration of food growing opportunities within new developments. It updates and builds upon the current guidance, providing best practice examples of a range of food growing measures and designs, and supports the implementation of a range of policies within the local planning policy framework. 


6.2         The updated PAN will help applicants make successful planning applications, will support Planning Officers in making recommendations to determine planning applications and will help to ensure that new development achieves high sustainability principles.




Financial Implications:


7.1         There are no direct financial implications from the recommendations of this report (revised planning advice note).  It is assumed that any implementation costs are contained within existing budgets.  This will be reviewed as part of budget setting and monitoring.


            Finance Officer Consulted:     Name Jess Laing                         Date: 14/08/2020


Legal Implications:


7.2         As noted in the body of the report, the Food Growing and Development Planning Advice Note will have some weight as a material planning consideration in the determination of relevant planning applications.


            Lawyer Consulted:                   Name Hilary Woodward              Date: 5/8/20



            Equalities Implications:


7.3         A Health & Equalities Impact Assessment was undertaken on all policies contained within the City Plan Part One during its preparation. This concluded that the policies should guide development to create healthy, cohesive and vibrant communities. A separate Equality Impact Assessment has not been carried out on the updated PAN.


            Sustainability Implications:


7.4         The PAN supports the use of land for local food production and therefore contributes towards achieving sustainable communities.


Brexit Implications:


7.5         There are no anticipated impacts arising from Brexit of relevance to the PAN. The PAN could help support local food resilience.


Any Other Significant Implications:


            Crime & Disorder Implications:


7.6       Food projects offer the opportunity for increasing community cohesion, can enhance sense of ownership that local people have, and can potentially increase natural surveillance.


            Risk and Opportunity Management Implications:


7.7       Whilst a risk assessment has not been undertaken, there are not considered to be any significant risks associated with publishing the updated PAN.  


            Public Health Implications:


7.8       The planning system has a role to play in supporting the creation of healthy communities. Engagement by residents in food growing projects encourages physical activity, supporting physical health and mental wellbeing, provides opportunities for social interaction and cohesion, and supports greater consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables.


            Corporate / Citywide Implications:


7.9       This PAN particularly supports the objectives of Local Strategic Partnership (Brighton Connected). This includes the topic of food and recognises the need for sustainable food systems. In addition, the Corporate Plan 2020-30 supports the bid to become a Gold Sustainable Food City.







1.         Updated Food Growing and Development Planning Advice Note 2020



Background Documents