"Hybrid planning application comprising outline application for access only for residential development of 130 dwellings consisting of 12 x 1 bed apartments, 27 x 2 bed houses, 47 x 3 bed houses and 44 x 4 bed houses and associated access ... Revised plans received 18/4/16 showing a reduction in the number of proposed dwellings, an amended access plan, a revised Flood Risk Assessment and a Revised Flood Modelling report."
Mid Sussex District Council has asked for comments on the plans by 20 May, indicating that the plan could go to councillors for a decision very soon. Friars Oak Fields Residents Association is examining the changed proposals, but it is vital that as many people as possible make their objections clear as soon as possible. Objections that have been raised include:
- There is no provision for extra school places, despite the fact that there is already a crisis in Hassocks (the small village infant school has been forced to take 4-class entry this September).
- The plan will also increase traffic in the area, forcing even more cars through Stonepound crossroads, which is the only pollution blackspot in Mid Sussex.
- The plan could increase the risk of flooding at existing properties due to the fact that Friars Oak Fields are a floodplain and the Rydon plans would adversely affect the stream.
- The plan would put houses right next to the dangerous rail foot crossing and there are no plans to build a bridge. Rydon makes the ludicrous claim that their estate will not lead to more people using the crossing.
- The site has been rejected by Hassocks parish council and by residents in the Neighbourhood Plan.
- The site is a rare area of accessible green space and is a haven for wildlife.
- The plan will increase the number of commuters attempting to park around streets near the station, as the distance from the station will put off many commuters from walking.
- The application is "outline", meaning that if it is approved, the actual housing estate could contain many more homes than the 130 proposed.