Planning Advice Note – Brighton and Hove, UK

Key Insights

  • Including food growing spaces in building development
  • Using planning system to shape food environment
  • Steering developers through voluntary guidance


Brighton and Hove is renowned for its culture of food activism and engagement. Many residents are keen to grow their own food, but since land is at a premium in the urban area any available parcels are usually earmarked for development. In 2011 the city council adopted a Planning Advisory Note (PAN) that makes clear the planning authority’s preference for proposals that include food growing spaces. In its first two years, the PAN led to a significant increase in planning applications that include food growing spaces – from just 1% to almost 40%.


This case study version is from the Menu of Actions (2019). Suggested citation: Halliday, J., Platenkamp, L., Nicolarea, Y. (2019) A menu of actions to shape urban food systems for improved nutrition, GAIN, MUFPP and RUAF.

Brighton & Hove (United Kingdom), Shutterstock/JMAV

The action and its aims

Brighton and Hove City Council adopted the Planning Advice Note (PAN) on the incorporation of food growing spaces into plans for new building developments in the city. PAN 06 forms part of the Local Development Framework and is aimed at developers that are preparing planning applications. Although compliance is voluntary, it gives a strong indication of the planning authority’s preference. The aim is to encourage food growing spaces within new developments and the urban environment at appropriate scales.

When it was introduced

The Planning Advice Note (PAN) was published in September 2011.

Why it was needed

There is much interest in urban agriculture in Brighton and Hove but access to land is at a premium and there is a need to incorporate growing spaces into the fabric of the city.

Who initiated it, who is involved

The Food Matters charity and academics from the University of Brighton first approached Brighton and Hove City Council (BHCC) with the idea of using the planning system to create new food growing spaces. The PAN was written by Food Matters as part of the Harvest Brighton and Hove project (funded by the National Lottery), with support from BHCC. It was published in September 2011.

Impacts to date

Between 2011 and 2013, planning applications including food growing spaces increased from 1% to almost 40%.

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Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Food System

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include a significant number of interconnected objectives related to agriculture and food.

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