Neighbourhood Plan Committee



To:      All Members of the Neighbourhood Plan Committee (Claire Tester, Bill Hatton, Ian Weir, Carolyn Barton and Kristian Berggreen) with copies to all other Councillors for information.

A meeting of the NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN COMMITEE will be held at the Parish Centre, Adastra Park, Hassocks on Thursday 7th April at 7.30pm.

Parish Clerk 31 March 2022



3. MINUTES to accept the minutes of the Neighbourhood Plan Committee held on 2nd September 2021 (previously circulated)


To agree and accept the minutes of the informal virtual meetings held on the 9th December 2021 and the 3rd March 2022. (Previously circulated)


5. Proposal for preparing a Community-led Plan for Hassocks (verbal update)

6. Mid Sussex District Council – District Plan Review – Mid Sussex District Council are in the process of reviewing the District Plan and have recently considered the draft document prior to going out to Regulation 18 stakeholder consultation. However as the report was progressing through their committee cycle prior to adoption a number of concerns were raised by MSDC members at Scrutiny Committee, therefore this process has been paused pending the establishment of working group to revisit some of the matters raised.

As part of the site assessment process eight potential sites in Hassocks were considered by MSDC in the proposed draft plan of which seven were identified as not suitable for allocation. The exception was the proposed allocation of the ‘Byanda’ site on London Road.

At the previous Neighbourhood Plan Committee meeting members were requested to review the current assessments undertaken by MSDC of the Hassocks sites and determine whether they were satisfied that they were sufficiently robust.

For member’s information an extract from MSDC’s Assessment criteria is produced as Appendix 1 please click here, which details the criteria applied by MSDC in assessing the suitability of each site.

As part of the review MSDC looked at eight sites within the parish of Hassocks, one of which was dis-regarded as it was disconnected from the defined built up area and settlement boundary. It was concluded that the development of this site did not meet the requirements of achieving sustainable development. (ID – 682 – Ockley Lane and Wellhouse Lane).

However seven other sites were considered and the detailed assessments of each site are set out in Appendix 2 please click here.

ID Site
1025 Land at Byanda, Brighton Road
1022 Former Hassocks Golf Course
901 Open Space north of Clayton Mills
752 Land north of Friars Oak
742 Russel Nursery, Brighton Road
375 National Tyre Centre, 60 Keymer Road
210 Land rear of 2 Hurst Road


Appendix 3 please click here, represents an extract from the MSDC site assessment conclusions by settlement which summarises the comments against each Hassocks site.

Members are requested to consider the content within the attached appendices when assessing whether they consider the current assessments are sufficient.

7. Glover Landscape Review consultation; (verbal update)

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

9. DATE OF NEXT MEETING. 26th May 2022

Please Note
All members of the public are welcome to attend to attend meetings of the Parish Council and its Committees. Item 4 – 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.

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.


Minutes of the NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN COMMITTEE meeting held on Thursday 7th April 2022 at 19.30 pm

Virtual Attendees: Parish Councillors: Claire Tester, Ian Weir, Kristian Berggreen, Bill Hatton and Carolyn Barton

Clerk:  Ian Cumberworth

NP21/55 APOLOGIES: none


NP21/57 MINUTES to agree the Minutes of the Neighbourhood Plan Committee held on the 2nd September 2021.


Agree and accept the minutes from the informal virtual Neighbourhood Plan Committees held on the 9th December 2021 and 3rd March 2022.


There were no members of the public present.

NP21/59 Community Led plan

The Clerk advised members that there appeared to be a limited pool of external entities who have experience in supporting Parishes in preparing community led plans also sometimes known as a parish plan. One organisation nationally that seems to have supported this type of work through their reginal network is ACRE – Action with Communities & Rural England. The local group is Action in Rural Sussex.

Advice has also been sought via the Clerk network organisation (WSALC) and I am currently awaiting more information.

Members were advised that in the event of only limited providers being identified where the personal skills of the person or company is of primary importance the Council standing orders (13.3 (vii) did provide flexibility to enable access to test the market outside of the standard arrangements subject to certain conditions being complied with.

Members discussed the proposed options and noted that Standing Order 13.3 (vii) could be utilised if necessary to source a suitable provider.

Members AGREED to this approach in the event of insufficient suitable providers being identified.

NP21/60 Mid Sussex District Plan Review –

Cllr Tester introduced the paper and initially sought whether there was any update from the MSDC Scrutiny meeting in January when they determined to pause the plan. Members were not aware of any progress but it was felt that MSDC maybe awaiting a response from Michael Gove (MP’s) office in response to their letter challenging the basis of development need and the reform of the calculation formula. It is understood a large number of authorities nationally have also written to Mr Gove’s office posing the same question.

Members were then taken through the Assessment criteria (Appendix 1) which MSDC had used to evaluate sites as part of the site assessment process. The basis of the assessments were represented by a combination of colour (traffic lights) and descriptors. Members acknowledged that the approach in the site assessment process completed by MSDC was somewhat different to the current plan.

In appendix 2 this detailed a map of the sites within the parish that were initially considered together with the final eight sites that progressed to the more detailed assessment phase. Members clarified that although more than eight sites were shown on the SHELAA site maps some of these sites had been sifted out at the initial evaluation stage by MSDC and did not progress to the more detailed evaluation stage.

As part of the review MSDC looked at eight sites within the parish of Hassocks, one of which was disregarded as it was disconnected from the defined built up area and settlement boundary. It was concluded that the development of this site did not meet the requirements of achieving sustainable development’. (ID – 682 – Ockley Lane and Wellhouse Lane)

The seven sites that underwent a more detailed review were:

ID Site
1025 Land at Byanda ,Brighton Road
1022 Former Hassocks Golf Course
901 Open Space north of Clayton Mills
752 Land north of Friars Oak
742 Russel Nursery , Brighton Road
375 National Tyre Centre, 60 Keymer Road
210 Land rear of 2 Hurst Road


Within Appendix 2 it also detailed the assessments of each of the eight sites which members reviewed in turn and discussed the merits of these as they currently stood. Members expressed the view that when looking at the detailed assessments there did appear to be a number of assessments that could be reviewed to further strengthen the rationale to support the sites unsuitability for development if necessary.

Of the sites considered by MSDC only one site ‘Byanda’ was proposed as suitable for development within the proposed life of the District Plan which is currently subject to planning application which will be considered by MSDC in the near future. The summary MSDC conclusions were set out for each site in Appendix 3 which summarised the rationale for either rejecting the site or recommending further testing.

Members NOTED the comments within the assessments and indicated further work could be undertaken on the assessments if necessary post the outcome of the MSDC’s current pausing of the District Plan review to strengthen the assessment of the unsuitability of the sites for development.

NP21/61 Glover Landscape Report Consultation (SDNP) Cllr Weir and Cllr Barton attended a recent parish briefing from the South Downs National Park on the Glover report consultation. The SDNP were encouraging parishes to participate in the consultation. The members who attended the session felt the main concern was the suggestion to reduce the number of board members which they felt would impact adversely on representation and local democracy. After discussing various elements of the briefing members AGREED that the Clerk should submit a representation expressing the members concerns regarding the reduction of the board size. The Clerk undertook to submit this prior to the consultation closure date on the 9th April.

NP21/62 Urgent Matters. None

NP21/63 DATE OF NEXT MEETING.  26th May 2022.