Grounds & Environment Committee



To:     All Members of the Grounds & Environment Committee (Kate Bailey, Kristian Berggreen, David Bunting, Frances Gaudencio, Bill Hatton, Sue Hatton, Angus Neil, Peter Richardson, Paul Shepherd and Alex Simmons) with copies to all other Councillors for information.

cc. Richard Higgs

A meeting of the GROUNDS AND ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE will be held on 1 June 2023 at 7.30pm in the Parish Centre, Adastra Park, Hassocks.

Parish Clerk – 25 May 2023




4. MINUTES. To accept the Minutes of the Grounds and Environment Meeting held on 22 March 2023. (Previously Circulated).


6. OFFICER’S REPORT. (Appendix 1).

7. LONDON ROAD BUS SHELTER (east). Members are invited to consider a request to install a bench in the bus shelter on London Road (east). (Appendix 2).

8. FOOD OUTLET ADASTRA PARK. Members are invited to note that a proposal has been received for a commercial mobile food and drink outlet to trade from Adastra Park. As Members have already previously indicated support in principle for such a proposal, the Committee is invited to delegate management of this project to the Clerk/Deputy Clerk with reports to the Committee as appropriate and where required. (Background papers circulated).


10. FUNDRAISING EVENT – Adastra Park. Members are invited to consider a request to hold a fundraising event in Adastra Park. (Further details to be confirmed).

11. FLOOD ACTION GROUP. Verbal Update. Cllr Frances Gaudencio.


12.1 Members are invited to note correspondence received from the Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change and the annual Public Rights of Way (PROW) Parish Report for information.  Members are also requested to note that currently Hassocks does not have a designated WSCC Access Ranger. (Appendices 3 and 4).

12.2 Verbal update. Cllrs Ian Weir.

13. URGENT MATTERS at the discretion of the Chairman for noting and/or inclusion on a future agenda.

14. DATE OF NEXT MEETING. 27 July 2023 at 7.30pm.

Please Note:
All members of the public are welcome to attend meetings of the Parish Council and its Committees. Item 5 – a period of 15 minutes will be set aside for the public statements and questions relating to the published non-confidential business of the Meeting.

It may be necessary to consider particular items in confidential session and where this arises, these items will be considered at the end of the agenda.

FILMING, RECORDING OF COUNCIL MEETINGS AND USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA. During this meeting members of the public may film or record the Committee and officers from the public area only, providing it does not disrupt the meeting. The Confidential section of the meeting may not be filmed or recorded. If a member of the public objects to being recorded, the person(s) filming must stop doing so until that member of the public has finished speaking. The use of social media is permitted but members of the public are requested to switch their mobile devices to silent for the duration of the meeting.

Appendix 1


To:     Grounds & Environment Committee

Date: 1 June 2023

Contacts for this report: Deputy Clerk

Subject: Agenda Item 6 – Officer Report

1. The purpose of this report is to update the Committee on (G&E) Matters.


2. Adastra Park

2.1. Garden of Remembrance.  Following the Committee’s approval at the previous meeting (Min ref GE22/99.1),  18 rose plants have been purchased and planted in the new flower beds in the Garden of Remembrance to commemorate the Coronation of King Charles lll.  The rose species selected was ‘Tottering-by-Gently’ which was chosen due to it being a repeat flowering, fragrant, medium shrub English rose with open flowers which are good for pollinators.   Special thanks go to ex-Councillor Jane Baker who has overseen this project to completion and to the committed efforts of the volunteer group who have assisted Jane.

It was agreed that a suitable plaque would be placed in the beds to inform visitors of their significance.  It is suggested that for conformity the plaque is of the same design as that already in the garden for the tree planted by the Twinning Association some time ago.

Suggested wording for the plaque is as follows:

‘Tottering-by-Gently’ Roses

These roses were planted in May 2023
by the Garden of Remembrance Volunteer Group
 to commemorate the Coronation of the King Charles lll

OFFICER RECOMMENDATION.  Members are invited to agree the wording for the plaque to accompany the Coronation Rose beds.

2.2 Garden of Remembrance Volunteer Group.  Although Jane Baker would no longer be organising this group, the core members indicated that they would like to continue with the gardening sessions and one member has very kindly offered to co-ordinate the group in liaison with the office.  This is currently under discussion but it is hoped the group will continue with the much appreciated work they have been doing.

2.3 Play Equipment Repairs.  Various repairs as identified by the monthly inspections have been undertaken to play equipment in both the play areas in the North and South Field at a cost of £1975.50 net.

The Swingo which was replaced recently under warranty has a fault and HAGS have been contacted to resolve this.  The Clerk is currently in discussions with HAGS to resolve this issue.

2.4 Skatepark competition.  Arrangements are in place for TicTac Skateschool to hold a competition in the morning on Monday 24 July.  The skatepark will continue to be open for members of the public.

2.5 MSDC PlayDays.  PlayDays on tour will be visiting Adastra Park again this year on Tuesday 25 July.  This event is a free event for families and young children and is usually very well attended.

2.6 Memorial Bench.  A request has been received for a further memorial bench to be installed in the park as per the Memorial Bench Policy.  It has been agreed that this bench will be sited on the northern boundary of the North Field along by the stream.

3. Parklands Road Allotments. Allotment Inspections have resumed for the season, having been delayed this year due to the poor weather conditions. In line with the Allotment Inspection Procedure, following the first inspection a number of allotment holders have been formally contacted with reminders of the expected level of cultivation and maintenance required on plots as per the Tenancy Agreement. These plots will be re-inspected at the next inspection for improvement.

4. Hassocks Burial Ground. The planned work on the burial ground path network has now started.


5. New Litter Bin. Residents of Ewart Close have enquired about the installation of a new bin being installed near the seat at the entrance to the close. An existing post suggests a bin was installed at this site historically and a clearance of the communal grounds has uncovered a significant amount of litter being thrown over the wall into this area. A small hooded trimline bin is to be installed which will be in the region of £200 including installation to be funded from the Litter Bins budget which is currently £500.

6. Coronation Bench. Delivery is expected w/c 5 June of the Bench to commemorate the Coronation of King Charles lll, as approved by the G&E Committee at the meeting held on 22 March 2023. The bench is to be located on Ockley Lane near to the entrance of The Quadrant, Hassocks.  The cost of the bench was £454.16 net which was funded from the Seats budget 22/33, the concrete base and installation will be £230.00 net which will be funded from the Pedestrian Environment budget 23/24.

7. Street Tree Scheme. The cost per tree from WSCC increased from £209.10 to £236.20 this April. The Parish Council set aside a budget of £4500 for tree planting in 23/24, there was also £454 carried forward in the EMR from previous donations and this year Hassocks Community Organisation have kindly donated another £300 towards the scheme.  This gives a total amount of £5254, allowing 22 trees to be planted.   As always the scheme has proved very popular with over 30 requests for trees so far.

For Members information, this is a WSCC scheme in partnership with local councils but can also be accessed directly by individual residents.  Requests are collated by the Parish Office and then submitted to WSCC.  A site visit is made by the WSCC Arboriculturalist who will assess the suitability of each site, and inform the Parish Council of any sites that cannot be used.   In this situation the next address on the list will be submitted.  Any residents who are unable to have a tree planted in 2023 due to oversubscription will automatically be added to the list for 2024.   Further information about the scheme in general is available on the WSCC website – Donate a Tree Scheme – West Sussex County Council.

Appendix 2


To:     Grounds & Environment Committee                

Date: 1 June 2023

Contacts for this report: Deputy Clerk                     

Subject: Agenda Item 7 – London Road Bus Shelter east

1. The purpose of this report is to invite Members to consider a request to re-install a seat in the wooden bus shelter on London Road east, south of Little Copse Road.

This shelter originally had a seat which was removed due to fire damage in 2018.  The seat was not replaced partly due to concerns regarding anti-social behaviour.

However this bus stop is a key stop on the route to the Brighton Hospitals and is also frequently used by elderly passengers who would benefit from a seat in the shelter.

2. It is therefore proposed that a seat should be reinstalled and The Monday Group have confirmed that they would be able to undertake the building and installation of a wooden bench seat, and have been asked to provide a quote for the cost of the materials.


3.1 Members are invited to approve the installation of a wooden seat by The Monday Group in the London Road east Bus Shelter.

3.2. The Seats budget currently has £750 available.  If Members are in favour of the bench installation, it is requested that Members delegating to the Clerk the authority to proceed with the expenditure subject to the cost being within an acceptable limit.

Appendix 3


To: Grounds & Environment Committee

Date:  1 June 2023

Contact for this report: Deputy Clerk

Deborah Urquhart
Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change
Member for Angmering and Findon


West Sussex County Council

County Hall
West Sussex
P019 1RZ

16th May 2023

Dear Chairman,

Public Rights of Way Annual Parish Report

I am writing with your annual update on Public Rights of Way (PRoW) matters.

Over the past year West Sussex County Council (WSCC) continued to manage the PRoW network in West Sussex through its 15-month cycle of inspections and maintenance.

Our local Access Rangers and dedicated Parish Path Inspector Volunteers together inspected the network, after which our maintenance contractor delivered any necessary works.  Additionally, our Volunteer Rangers, often working with various partners, completed a significant programme to improve steps, bridges, structures and to clear vegetation.  We also ran our annual Capital Improvements programme focussing on higher value improvements across the network including surface improvement works and bridge design and replacement. I attach a report that outlines the work completed in your parish between 1 April 2022 – 31 March 2023.

For information we have attached a map showing who your local Access Ranger is. Whilst we encourage a good relationship with your local Access Ranger it is encouraged that day to day issues with the network are reported using our online form (available by following this link).  As previously advised, we need to prioritise the many reports of issues around the PRoW network made each year.  Should you report any issues, any details you can provide, such as photographs, measurements, clear location, type of vegetation, will be greatly appreciated.

Over the summer the County Council will again run a Surface Vegetation Clearance Programme – landowners are responsible for side and overhead vegetation.

During the past year several parish councils have taken proactive steps to enhance their local PRoW, which path users have greatly appreciated.  Should any council wish to involve themselves in managing their local paths, please do mention this to your local Access Ranger.  I attach a summary of powers available to you.

To assist you further please also find attached some example wording that could be used for issues that are considered a landowner responsibility, for example, stiles, gates, side and overhead vegetation and fall/leaning trees. Hopefully this will assist you if you wish to approach the landowner yourself.

As well as the summary of powers and example wording I also include an advice note on our Capital Programme and how these works are prioritised and also an advice note on developer contributions and how these can support enhancements to your local PRoW network. Hopefully this is helpful and gives you a better understanding of how we manage the network and how the Parish Council can support.

Our Countryside Management Team still supports the ‘Think, Share, Be Aware’ campaign which promotes responsible behaviours in the countryside. Details can be found on our website and if you want to use something similar in your shared spaces, such as parks or open spaces, our Countryside Management Team would be happy to discuss this with you and can be contacted at

Yours faithfully

Deborah Urquhart

Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change

Appendix 4

The legal powers of Town and Parish Councils regarding access and rights of way

Town and Parish Councils have legal powers in regard to Public Rights of Way. These include:

1. Definitive Map – To hold for public inspection a copy of the definitive map for the parish, and copies of the orders made to modify it as supplied by West Sussex County Council (WSCC)

2. Maintenance – To undertake maintenance of any public footpath (FP), public bridleway (BW) or restricted bridleway (RB) (although it is encouraged that any parish wishing to do so contacts WSCC first to ensure that work is undertaken to an acceptable standard; if not, parishes could find themselves liable in the event of an accident)

3. Lighting and furniture – To erect lighting on any FP or BW or seats or shelters (again, it is advisable to consult WSCC beforehand to ensure safety and proper siting, and to discuss any possible need for a licence)

4. Warning signs – To erect signs warning of local dangers (WSCC can advise on the appropriate wording of such signs to avoid any suggestion that the sign appears to unlawfully deter use of a right of way). This also relates to erecting “No Cycling” signs on FPs that are experiencing unlawful use. These have previously been provided to Parish/Town Councils and can be printed and laminated. Please note that these must not be erected on any routes other than public footpaths and must not deter lawful path users. It is strongly recommended to contact landowners prior to erection of any notices on their land and get their consent.

5. Trees/Stiles/Gates – To contact local landowners to make them aware of issues that are their responsibility such as fallen/leaning trees on their land and broken stiles or gates (if reports are received it is helpful to contact the landowner directly, if known, and request resolution).

6. Town/Village Greens – To make an application to the registration authority (WSCC) for the creation of a new town or village green

7. Obstructions including crops – To prosecute anyone who wilfully obstructs the passage along any highway, and to prosecute an occupier who fails to ensure that growing crops do not inconvenience path users. The power also exists to prosecute a landowner who does not restore a lawfully ploughed path within the period allowed or who has ploughed unlawfully (WSCC would be pleased to discuss before any action is considered by a Town of Parish Council (PC))

8. Signing – To insist that the highway authority (WSCC) signposts a particular FP, BW, RB or BOAT (byway open to all traffic) where it meets a metalled road. PCs also have the power to signpost FPs, BWs, RBs and BOATs on behalf of, and with the consent of, the highway authority (WSCC has a very good record for signposting and it would be helpful if PCs could report any missing road end signs. In the event PCs did wish to apply to do signposting work themselves, WSCC would be happy to discuss and, if appropriate, for consistency, supply the signs for erection)

9. New rights of way – To create new highways by agreement with the landowner over land in their own and adjoining communities (again WSCC would encourage PCs to discuss first, partly because highways created under agreements with PCs would not automatically be maintained at the public expense (unlike WSCC agreements) and so owners may be reluctant to enter into PC agreements if future liability could fall to them. Also, WSCC is likely to have more experience in dealing with this sort of work)

These are not all of the legal powers that a Town or Parish Council has. If a Council had a particular concern, then officers at the County Council are available to give guidance.

Finally, we would like to reiterate the importance of reporting issues on the PROW network through the correct channels and below is the link to our reporting page:  When making reports we would strongly encourage as much detail as possible, including the path number, a location plan, a clear description of what the issue is and also photographs to accompany the report. This will assist us greatly in identifying the issue and investigating it as efficiently as possible in line with our clear priorities (available under the “Our timescales” section on this page).

Rights of Way Capital Programme

West Sussex County Council runs a Capital programme annually and larger scale Public Rights of Way (PRoW) improvements form part of this (projects generally to a value of £10,000 or more). The Capital programme focusses on large scale improvements across the network including bridge replacements and surface improvements.

Capital works are identified through the routine maintenance inspections and reports from members of the public and Parish Councils. When a report is received it is logged and prioritised using our agreed scoring matrix. The following outlines our scoring topics and details some examples of what will increase the score:

  • External funding availability
    • This can include developer funding (s.106 or CIL) or third party contributions
  • Customer and Community led schemes
    • Significant local support– key supporters are landowners, Parish Councils and Local Members
  • Economy
    • Significant benefit to local economy, such giving access to local shops, pubs or visitor attractions
  • Locality
    • This looks at the value of the route in terms or connectivity to services, communities, public transport and schools
  • Environmental impact/safety risk
    • This assesses the environmental impact and risk to lawful users of the PRoW in relation to the defect identified – for example a user could be severely injured using a broken bridge
  • Asset condition
    • The severity of the defect – for example is the path unusable throughout the year or is the defect just a slight hinderance for some periods The worst the condition, the greater the score.
    • If a route is closed due to issue then this will score highly
  • Route classification
    • The type of users a path can accommodate, for example, a Bridleway will score higher than a Footpath as it is available to a wider range of users.

Schemes are prioritised by the local Access Ranger in the first instance, with support from our Senior Rights of Way Officer who leads on the Capital programme of works.

Nicholas Scott, Principal Rights of Way Officer