MP welcomes decision to refuse speculative Hassocks development

Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert has welcomed Mid Sussex District Council’s Planning Committee decision to refuse permission for a speculative housing development on Friars Oak Fields in Hassocks.

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The Committee recommended refusal on Thursday (29 November) by 5 votes to 4.  Mr Herbert had written to the Chief Executive of Mid Sussex District Council before the meeting urging the Committee to reject the bid by Rydon Homes.


In his letter, Mr Herbert warned the District Council against “rewarding a speculative developer with planning permission on a site which does not sit in an emerging neighbourhood plan and is pre-empting the Council’s own review”, referring to the Mid Sussex District Council’s Local Plan.


The bid to build 130 homes on Friars Oak Fields was rejected despite being  recommended for approval by the Council’s officers. 


Reacting to the news, Mr Herbert said: “I welcome the Planning Committee’s decision.  They were right not to allow developers to undermine an ongoing process which next year will see Mid Sussex District Council evaluate sites in accordance with its Local Plan, and Hassocks’ Neighbourhood Plan - which does not include the Friars Oak Field site – moving to a referendum”.


“The whole point of neighbourhood planning was to give local people more control over where new housing goes, and developers should not be allowed to subvert these plans.


“We will now have to watch to see if the developer appeals against the decision”.





1.     To read Nick’s news release (26 Nov) ‘MP asks Council to reject speculative Hassocks housing bid’ see


2.     To read a copy of Nick’s letter to Mid Sussex District Council see