Saturday, 1 June 2019

Rydon submits third planning application for large estate on Friars Oak Fields - act now!

Hassocks is once again threatened by crazy over-development, with potentially many more than 1,000 new homes in the area - but no new roads or schools. There will still only be one road across the railway that divides the village.

Each of us has until Friday 21 June 2019 to object. Please write in your own words to object (details below).

The reasons why this proposal must be opposed are clear:

Mid Sussex District Council’s planning committee has ALREADY TURNED IT DOWN. The basic reason why councillors rejected it in November 2018 was that it conflicted with the countryside policies and other policies contained in the MSDC District Plan for 2014-2031. What on earth is the expensive District Plan for, if it can be ignored by developers? 

The housing need for the district HAS BEEN MET, especially since the imposition of a 500-home 'strategic site' in Hassocks, north of Clayton Mills.

The new application is almost identical to the rejected second planning application (the first was rejected by the housing minister) but it proposes a pedestrian tunnel under the railway. All the reasons why the second planning application was refused are still valid.

Hassocks' democratically-decided and legally sound Neighbourhood Plan, which has been held by MSDC since June 2016, designated Friars Oak Fields as Local Green Space. 

The site has been consistently opposed by the local MP, Nick Herbert.

Two other major estates are going ahead on a short stretch of London Rd alone - the golf course opposite the proposed entrance to the new site, and Ham Fields, next to Stonepound Crossroads. Stonepound Crossroads is the only Air Quality Management Area (pollution zone) in Mid Sussex. Nitrogen dioxide levels have been illegal there for years, and MSDC has a moral and legal duty to reduce pollution there, not increase it by permitting several new housing estates on the road leading to it. Also, 3,500 homes are being built up the road in Burgess Hill - the effect on Stonepound congestion will be very severe. 

The site is a flood plain and floods during wet winters; there are also concerns that flood mitigation at the new site will effectively dam the Herring Stream, making flooding in the Shepherds Walk area more likely.

To see all the relevant documents, go to

What do we all need to do?
Please write to MSDC before 21st June 2019. You must include your name and address plus the planning reference number.

Title: Planning reference number DM/19/1897
Post to:
Planning Department
Oaklands Road
Haywards Heath
West Sussex
RH16 1SS