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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 November 2006, 20:37 GMT
Kelly looks again at stadium site
Sheepcote Valley
Ruth Kelly is looking again at the Sheepcote Valley site
The government is to look again at alternative sites for Brighton and Hove Albion's proposed new Falmer stadium.

Local Government Secretary Ruth Kelly has asked for more information about how the sites were assessed at a two-year public inquiry.

She has said that, in particular, there were "deficiencies" in the evidence on the brownfield Sheepcote Valley site.

Ms Kelly is reviewing the planning application after permission granted last year by John Prescott was quashed.

Feasibility studies

The club, along with other bodies which gave evidence at the public inquiry, has been given until 15 February to make representations.

Sheepcote Valley was one of nine other sites for which feasibility studies were conducted, but the club always believed Falmer was the best.

Brighton and Hove City Council backed the plan, as did the city's MPs.

But some Falmer residents objected strongly to having a stadium built in their village.

The parish council, along with Lewes District Council and the South Downs Society, has fought a long campaign against the Falmer site, because of its proximity to the South Downs and an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

In a letter to the council, Ms Kelly said she also wants more information on whether the government's regeneration objectives are being met.

And she wants to look at how the stadium would impact on the proposed South Downs National Park.

Ms Kelly will then consider whether to re-open the public inquiry or grant planning permission for the Falmer development.

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