Hassocks Parish Council


A meeting of the Parish Council is being held on Tuesday 12 March 2024 at 7.30 pm in the Council Chamber, Parish Centre, Adastra Park, Hassocks.

Parish Clerk 6th March 2024



To accept Apologies for absence


2.1 To deal with any disclosure by Members of any disclosable pecuniary interests and interests other than pecuniary interests, as defined under Hassocks Parish Council’s Code of Conduct and the Localism Act 2011, in relation to matters on the agenda.


3.1. To accept the minutes of the Parish Council meeting 13th February 2024


Up to fifteen minutes will be available to allow for the public to make representations, answer questions or give evidence in respect of any items of business included in the agenda, in accordance with Standing Orders.


5.1       Planning Committee – to agree the minutes for the 19th February 2024

5.2       Policy Resources & Communications – to note the minutes for 5th March 2024

5.3       Grounds & Environment Committee – to note the minutes for the 1st February 2024

5.4       Neighbourhood Plan Committee – to note the minutes for 8th February 2024


6.1       To approve the Financial Report and authorise the list of payments in the sum of £26,667.61 issued between 1st January 2024 and 31st January 2024. (Appendix 1). (To view Appendix 1 please click here).


7.1.      West Sussex County Councillor

7.2.      Mid Sussex District Councillors Report

7.3       Police Report

7.4.      Rail Matters

7.5.      Youth Initiatives

7.6.      Reports from Councillors on meetings outside bodies where the Council

Is represented.


8.1       Current matters (oral report).


 9.1 Adastra Bowls Club – Machinery

The Bowls club currently maintain the bowls green directly on our behalf via a group of club volunteers and the Council funds all fertilizers/lawn treatments in lieu of this.

In the event the Bowls club were unable to continue this, the responsibility could potentially fall back to the Council.

The Bowls club have recently approached the Council indicating that they need to replace a mower as the existing model has reached the end of its serviceable life. The Council have previously funded some equipment.

The type of mowers used to maintain bowls greens are specialised and therefore expensive compared to standard mowers.

Although the club are funding the purchase from their own reserves they are seeking to ascertain whether the Council would be prepared to consider making a contribution towards the kit in recognition of the work they undertake to maintain the green on behalf of the Council. The cost incurred by the club is £8,500 (Inc. Vat) which represents a significant proportion of the clubs reserves.

The club have had to already commit to purchasing the item due to a number of factors: lead in delivery time, start of the bowls season and the fact that the current mower is no longer serviceable.

A letter from the club is attached as Appendix 2 where Members are requested to consider the request and determine whether they wish to make any contribution towards the cost of the new equipment. (To view Appendix 2 please click here).

9.2 Appointment to Committees: Cllr Cruickshank-Robb has now attended various Committees and has indicated that she would like to join the following Committees:

  • Planning
  • Other Committee Membership to be confirmed verbally.

Members are therefore invited to approve appointment of Cllr Cruickshank-Robb to the above Committees.

9.3 Grants this is to advise that the council has received letters/acknowledgements of thanks from the recent grant beneficiaries. Members are asked to note the following:

  • Cycling Without Age
  • Greener Hassocks and Ditchling

9.4 Ditchling Parish CouncilSeeking s106 funds for traffic impact mitigation Members are requested to note the contents of the attached paper (Appendix 3) and determine if they wish to take any further action regarding its contents. (To view Appendix 3 please click here).

It’s understood that the paper was originally drafted by Cllr Orme (Ditchling PC) and adopted by their Council in June 2023 where it was agreed to forward this paper onto amongst others Hassocks Parish Council. Due to changes in staffing at Ditchling this was not done at that time therefore the document was updated recently to reflect current changes and sent to Hassocks Parish Council in February for consideration.

Member’s views are sought.

10. URGENT MATTERS AT THE DISCRETION OF THE CHAIRMAN for noting and/or inclusion on a future agenda.


To note that the date of the next Council meeting is Tuesday 9th April 2024.

In view of the confidential nature of the business about to be transacted Councillors will be referred to the Confidential Agenda. If any members of the public or press are in attendance they will be requested to withdraw from the meeting in the public interest.

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.


12. Staffing matters


Minutes of the meeting of the Parish Council held on 12th March 2024 at 7.30pm in the Parish Centre, Adastra Park, Hassocks

Attendees: Parish Councillors Ian Weir (Chair) ,Frances Gaudencio, David Bunting, Sue Hatton,
Bill Hatton, Paul Shepherd, Carolyn Barton, Peter Richardson, Lesley Cruickshank-Robb,
Kristian Berggreen and Alex Simmons.

Visiting members: WSCC – Kirsty Lord

Parish Clerk: Ian Cumberworth


PC23/133     APOLOGIES   Cllr Neil, Cllr McBeth and Cllr Brewer

Absent without apologies Cllr Bailey.


Disclosure by Councillors of personal interests in matters on the agenda, and whether the Councillor regards their interest as prejudicial under the terms of the Code of Conduct. – None.

PC23/135     MINUTES

The minutes of the meeting held on the 13th February 2024, were accepted as a true and accurate record of the meeting.


No members of the public were present.

PC23/137     MINUTES

137.1     Members agreed the minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on the
19th February 2024.

137.2    Members noted the minutes of the Policy Resources & Communications Committee for the 5th March 2024.

137.3     Members noted the minutes of the Grounds & Environment Committee for the 1st February 2024.

137.4     Members noted the minutes of the Neighbourhood Plan Committee for the 8th February 2024.

PC23/138     FINANCE

138.1    Members considered the finance reports and the supporting bank statements and reviewed the following payment list for the period 1st January – 31st January 2024 and APPROVED in the sum of £26,667.61.

PC23/139     Reports

139.1     County Councillors reports: – Cllr Lord was unable to be present at the meeting but had submitted a report which the Clerk read out:


Cllr Lord submitted a report updating Members of the following:

Two key pieces of work are included within the Highways programme for Hassocks.

Ockley Lane resurfacing due in 2024/25. I am likely to know the timing of this in early April.

Keymer Rd drainage including Parklands Rd and the railway bridge – detailed design in 2024/25 with delivery in 2025/26.


I can also report that Chancellors Park had approximately 20 potholes repaired in February – it was in a particularly terrible state – and is in the programme for resurfacing in 2025/26

Ockley Lane was due to be closed today for extensive pothole safety repairs in advance of the resurfacing. I am not sure if this has happened given the weather and am expecting an update tomorrow.

Road safety

A resident approached me about road safety on Chancellors Park outside the infant school and I am meeting with a highways officer later this week during the afternoon school run to observe and see if anything is appropriate.

Ockley Lane speed limit has been approved by Sussex Police and will proceed to public consultation shortly. The 30mph will extend north to the bottom of Ockley Hill and it will then be 40mph through to the southern end of the Burgess Hill 30mph zone on Keymer Rd.

The Clayton Community Highway Scheme (CHS) which would see pedestrian improvement has been delayed to summer 2024 in order to allow for drainage works to be installed first. It is likely that further drainage works will also be needed given the ongoing problems with land movement on the highway at the foot of Clayton Hill.

Cllr Weir indicated he had spoken to the officer leading on this project who has confirmed there is more work to be done on stream capacity issues downstream in the direction of Weavers.


Secondary school places were announced on 1st March. Downlands had many more applicants than places but all on time in catchment children were offered places.

I attended a scrutiny meeting last Friday about Bedelands secondary school in the Northern Arc, which was due to open in September 2026.  Due to procurement issues (significant budgetary increase) the opening has been delayed by a year as WSCC re-procures the project. The children are expected to be hosted on the site of Burgess Hill Academy from September 2026 although details of how this will be managed and financed are still being decided.  There should therefore be no direct impact on Downlands, e.g. another bulge class.

Woodlands Meed is still not yet open with the decision in February that an Easter opening was not possible. I am in touch with officers but the opening date is still unknown.

Primary places are due to be announced to parents on 16th April.  At that point I will be asking WSCC to set up a meeting with parish representatives and district councillors to look at the latest numbers and forecasts as we have done for the last few years to keep an eye on the school place need and likelihood of a new school being built at Ockley Park.


The report of the Ofsted Area SEND Inspection was published at the end of February. WSCC received the middle rating of inconsistent experiences and outcomes (the other two are positive experiences and outcomes, and failings leading to significant concerns). The positives are in the leadership and multi-agency working, health visitors, support for young people with learning disabilities and early years support.  The key areas for improvement are timeliness of Education Health and Care Plans  (EHCP) (as previously mentioned to you this is a concern, currently only 3% are achieved within the statutory time frame), health services including Child and Adolescent Mental Health services (CAMHS) and speech and language therapy, specialist schools and alternative provision places and preparation for adulthood.

139.2     District Councillor Report Cllr Sue Hatton/Cllr Berggreen provided an update on Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC):


The budget was passed in March and will see an increase in Council Tax of 2.95%, plus increases in charges for fees and services, including the adoption of the 2020 Parking Strategy which will see differential parking price increases across the 3 main towns.

Inflation alone accounts for a £1.7m increase in Council budgeted costs, but MSDC also propose to invest in:

a) Temporary Accommodation services – 40% increase in demand from those seeking MSDC help due to family breakdowns through domestic abuse and therefore propose to invest over £6m to deliver local housing.

b) Extending food waste trial from the existing 3,000 houses to 5,000 houses. All houses in the district will have separate food waste collection by March 2026 and will gradually roll this out across the whole district.

c) Become a real living wage employer for our directly employed staff. It’s proposed to launch graduate opportunities and new apprenticeship schemes ourselves.

d) Not to cut services. This is an area some Councils locally such as Brighton & Hove, Eastbourne, Crawley and Hasting Councils are having to contend with where Councils are struggling under cost pressures.

e) The backlog for residents waiting for Green bins has now been cleared and the Council is now taking new orders.

Car Parking Strategy

This also envisaged the charging of parking in our larger villages, to be introduced after consultation with the parishes, in 2025. This should not be seen as a negative, but a mechanism to ensure that village centre car parks are not simply clogged by commuters, but ensure a regular turnover of shoppers to help our village centres remain vibrant places for people to visit. The consultation will start later this year.

Centre for outdoor sports

The District Planning Committee last week approved the planning application for the Centre for Outdoor Sports as part of the Brookleigh development, previously known as the Northern Arc. This will bring new all-weather pitches for Football and Rugby, and is a key part of the jigsaw of sports provision which in the south of the district, is short. Much has been made of the mix of facilities – as we say, this is a part of the jigsaw and the additional pitches mean that space will be freed up for Hockey at the Triangle, as well as new Hockey pitches at Bedelands School project, and a multi-million pound project in Haywards Heath that the Council has collected much developer money to fund.

District Plan

Regulation 19 consultation has now closed and the responses are being compiled on behalf of the Planning Inspector. The inspection is scheduled to happen later this year.

139.3     Police Report – nothing to report.

139.4     Rail Matters – nothing to report.

139.5     Youth Initiatives – nothing to report

139.6     Report from Councillors on meetings of outside bodies where the Council is represented – None.

PC23/140   CHAIRMANS REPORT – Nothing to report.


141.1     Adastra Bowls Club – Machinery

The Clerk introduced the attached letter in Appendix 2 which set out a request from the bowls club for the Council, to consider making a contribution towards a replacement mower as the current equipment has reached the end of its serviceable life.

The bowls club currently maintain the green with the council paying for turf treatments etc. £1,500 – £2,000 pa. Fertilisers /treatments etc.

The council had previously purchased some equipment and passed this over to the club to use.

Members were requested to consider the attached letter from the club.

Members considered the content of the letter and were supportive in principle in recognition of the ongoing support the club provide in maintaining the facility.

It was acknowledged that ideally the approach to the Council should have been prior to the order being placed but it was accepted that due to the lead in time and the start of the spring maintenance programme the club had limited options other than commit to the replacement and fund from the clubs reserves. Members briefly discussed the merits of different machines and their costs.

Members were then requested to indicate whether they supported contributing towards the new mower, all Members were supportive.

Members were then invited to consider two suggested values of either £2,000 or £4,000.

After careful consideration Members RESOLVED to APPROVE the award of £2,000 as way of contribution towards the cost of the machine.

Members requested that the Clerk incorporate a suitable clause within the offer to protect the Councils interest in the event that the current maintenance arrangement ceases to operate.

141.2     Appointment to Committees

Members were invited to consider Cllr Cruickshank-Robbs request to sit on the Planning committee and to consider any other committee memberships.

Cllr Cruickshank-Robb indicated that having attended all Committees now she would like to sit on the following:

  • Planning,
  • Grounds & Environment,
  • Policy Resources & Communications
  • Neighbourhood Plan Committee.

Members therefore RESOLVED to APPROVE Cllr Cruickshank-Robb to sit on the following Committees.

  • Planning
  • Grounds & Environment
  • Policy Resources & Communications
  • Neighbourhood Plan

The Clerk advised that all Committee memberships are reviewed at its May meeting where all Councillors are requested to confirm the Committees they would wish to sit on for the new Municipal year.

141.3     Grants

Members were requested to note that the Council had received the following acknowledgements of thanks from (i) Cycling without age and (ii) Greener Hassocks and Ditchling (formerly HKD) for their recent February grant awards. Noted

141.4     Ditchling Parish Council

Seeking s106 funds for traffic impact mitigation – Members were requested to consider the contents of a letter received from Ditchling Parish Council (Appendix 3) are requested to determine whether they wish to take any further action regarding its contents.

Members discussed the contents of the letter in detail however felt at present due to the way in which s106, works that they did not wish progress this matter further at this time.

Members felt the focus should be on influencing the infrastructure directly impacted by any development within the parish. Members therefore AGREED to NOTE the contents of the letter.



To note that the date of the next Parish Council meeting is Tuesday 9th April 2024 at 7.30pm.