MP urges Mid Sussex District Council to reject Hassocks development

Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert has urged Mid Sussex District Local Council to reject a proposal for 500 houses at Hassocks, warning that the development is “very strongly opposed” and is unsustainable.

In a formal response yesterday (13 November) to the Council’s consultation on proposed modifications to its Local Plan, Mr Herbert says that the “arbitrary allocation” of housing is unnecessary given that Mid Sussex District Council already has a 5-year housing land supply, and he warns that there is “already insufficient infrastructure” to support an increase in the size of the village by a third. 

The MP argues that the green space between settlements should be preserved and that “the random creation of a suburban sprawl’ should be avoided, adding that the proposed development would reduce the gap between Burgess Hill and Hassocks to just over half a mile. 

Mr Herbert points out that Hassocks’ draft Neighbourhood Plan has allocated 140 houses on the site through a process of careful local consultation, and he criticises the proposal for 500 houses which he argues would “run roughshod” over the neighbourhood planning process. 

Mr Herbert rounds on the suggestion that a planning application for the 500 houses might succeed anyway, irrespective of the proposed allocation by the Council, describing this as a “specious argument”.  He points out that the Council’s proposed allocation would impose the 500 houses on Hassocks anyway, and that “the village would have a chance to resist a speculative application as being contrary to its draft neighbourhood plan, but not if the development is imposed”. 

The MP concludes his response by urging Mid Sussex District Council to reject the proposal.  He recognises that the Council must meet its local housing need, and that Hassocks must play its part, but says that “an increase in the size of the village on the proposed scale, by this means and outside its neighbourhood plan, is not the right way forward”. 

ENDS 

Notes

    1.     To read Nick Herbert’s response to the Mid Sussex Local Plan Main Modifications consultation in full see here.

   2.     To read Nick Herbert’s letter to the Secretary of State in full see here.

   3.     To read the Mid Sussex District Council Schedule of Main Modifications see http://www.midsussex.gov.uk/media/80021/bp1b_scheduleofmainmodifications.pdf.

   4.     To read the Mid Sussex District Council District Plan, including link to the consultation response see http://www.midsussex.gov.uk/planning-licensing-building-control/planning-policy/local-development-framework/district-plan/.

   5.     To read Nick's news release, issued after he spoke at the Mid Sussex District Plan inquiry (December 2016), see here.

   6.     To read Nick's news release commenting on the Planning Inspector's interim report and proposed higher number housing (February 2017) see here.

   7.    To read Nick's news release 'MP wins protection for neighbourhood plans' (December 2016) see here.

Michelle TaylorPlanning, Hassocks