Neighbourhood Plan Committee



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

An informal meeting of the NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN COMMITEE will be held virtually on Thursday 3rd March at 7.30pm.

Parish Clerk 23 February 2022



3. MINUTES to note the minutes of the Neighbourhood Plan Committee held on 9 December 2021


5. Proposal for preparing a Community-led Plan for Hassocks

At the Neighbourhood plan meeting held 9th December members agreed in principle to consider undertaking a Community led Plan review. The Chair of this Committee was tasked with drafting a project proposal in conjunction with the clerk which has been previously circulated but is set out in Appendix 1 for consideration.

In addition since the last Neighbourhood Plan Committee the Council confirmed the provision of funding up to £3,000 to facilitate the progression of this initiative as part of the 2022/23 budget setting process.

Members are requested to review the attached proposal and indicate whether this should form the basis of the commission and provide an indication of the timeline the project should follow taking into consideration the current situation with regard to the District Plan review being undertaken by Mid Sussex District Council.

Member’s views are sought

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. Consequently members made the following recommendations including that the review process should be paused and to revisit the site allocation process.

At Mid Sussex District Councils  meeting on the 19th January 2022, the Scrutiny Committee for Housing, Planning and Economic Growth resolved to:

(a) defer the discussion of the District Plan Review so that further work and consideration can take place and the outcome of change to any Government policy is known.

(b) establish a working party to review:

(c) the evidence for the proposed housing allocation in the Draft District Plan 2021-2038 (“the Plan”);

(d) the fundamental alterations to 10 major policies in the current District Plan and the addition of 6 new policies;

(e) the appropriateness or otherwise of including the sites identified for development in the Plan, in whole or in part; and

(f) report its findings to the next appropriate meeting of the Committee with recommendations for adoption by the Committee and Council.

An updated timetable for the preparation of the District Plan Review will be published in due course. (source extract from MSDC website).

As part of the site assessment process eight 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. For member’s information an extract form MSDC site assessments for Hassocks is set out as Appendix 2. Members are asked to note the actions of Mid Sussex District Council in respect of the District Plan Review.

7. Glover Landscape Review consultation; The Council has recently received correspondence from the SDNP encouraging the Parish Council to participate in the consultation which is set out below.

From: Chris Paterson
Subject: The Glover Landscape Review: Government Response and Consultation

Dear Clerk,

As I am sure you are already aware, on 15 January the Government published its much-awaited response to recommendations made in the Landscape Review of Protected Landscapes led by Julian Glover. The Government’s response to these recommendations will have far-reaching, long-term impacts on the South Downs National Park, the other 9 English National Parks and the 34 Areas of Outstanding Beauty (AONBs) in England.

The South Downs National Park will be considering these proposals in detail over the coming weeks and will be responding in full to the consultation, but you can find our initial response here

We strongly encourage all partners, organisations, businesses, communities, individuals and all who care for the South Downs National Park to feed into this important Government consultation to decide on key issues affecting the future of the South Downs National Park and its fellow protected landscapes.

Consultations deadline:

The consultation will run for 12 weeks, closing on 9 April 2022.

You can find and respond to the consultation here.

Important information:

Glover Landscape Review (2019):

  • A really helpful summary of the Review and its key recommendations can be found here.
  • The full Review can be found here.

Government’s Response (15 January 2022):

  • The full Defra press release announcing the consultation is available to view here.
  • The Government’s response to the Landscapes Review can be found here.
  • The consultation can be found here.

We will share our consultation response in full and would welcome a copy of your consultation response.

Members are requested to consider whether they wish to participate in this consultation which ends on 9th April 2022.

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

9. DATE OF NEXT MEETING. 7th April 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.

If you wish to attend this virtual meeting please email before 9.00 hrs on the day of the meeting to be sent an electronic invitation by 12.00 noon on that same day.

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.

Appendix 1

Hassocks Community-led Plan – Project Brief for Consultants


Hassocks Parish Council has agreed to prepare a Community-led Plan to set the vision and objectives for the parish over the next 10-15 years, identify community actions and set the context for any review of its Neighbourhood Plan (made 2020).  The Community-led Plan, and the community engagement that informs it, will also be used to respond to consultations on the Mid Sussex District Plan Review and any other relevant consultations.

The Community-led Plan will be led by the Neighbourhood Plan Committee which comprises 6 Parish Councillors and 3 further members of the community.  This Committee will act as the Steering Group for the Plan.  The Committee may also set up Focus Groups for specific subject areas which would each be chaired by a member of the Committee but made up of members of the community to enable wider participation in the preparation of the Plan.

Project Brief for Consultants

The Parish Council wishes to appoint external consultants to support community engagement on the Plan to ensure that it is based on a wide and inclusive range of views from every part of the community.

Scope of Work

  • Project management support to the Chair of the Neighbourhood Plan Committee to ensure ongoing guidance and support on all aspects of plan preparation throughout the process and to maintain the momentum of the project.
  • Designing and implementing a communications plan which sets out how the Committee will engage with the wider community and key stakeholders throughout the plan-making process.  This communications plan to include the following:
    • Designing and implementing a comprehensive public survey to gather views about the priorities for Hassocks and the subject areas that the community would like to be covered by the Plan (to inform the setting up of Focus Groups).
    • Designing and facilitating workshops to agree actions in the Plan, taking into account the potential that these may need to be run virtually if the pandemic precludes physical events.
  • Producing a report setting out the outcomes of the community engagement and how they have informed the Plan.  This report to be updated after every engagement event so that the results can also inform other Parish Council activities such as responding to District Plan Review consultations.

Please ensure your submission addresses the following:

  • Overview of the company/organisation
  • Outline of the project team
  • A description of the approach/methodology you will take including how you would engage with key stakeholders.
  • Project time and cost breakdown
  • Added value your company/organisation can bring to the project (if relevant)
  • Specify payment terms
  • Specify any areas where you will require support


Please state how you will be GDPR compliant and include your data protection policy in your submission

Scheme timescales (To be agreed)

1 Submit quote by Xx    2022
2 Inception meeting and agreement of appproach Xx    2022
3 Work commences including stakeholder engagement Xx    2022
4 Draft report delivered Xx    2022
5 Final report delivered Xx    2023


In addition to any conditions stated above, the following shall apply:

  • Hassocks Parish Council (HPC) may withdraw from using the services of the consultant at any time during the project if it is not satisfied with the standard or quality of work.
  • HPC will retain the right to publish the findings of the activities and will remain the owner of data/information being produced on its behalf throughout and after the project. Permission will have to be obtained from the Council prior to any reproduction of any output data.
  • Any activities outside of this brief for consultancy support which is regarded as ‘additional’ or further’ work must be agreed (in terms of content and cost),in writing by the Council before it is undertaken; and
  • The consultant shall at all times be covered by Professional indemnity insurance at a level appropriate for the risks involved in the undertaking of this work and shall conform to the requirements of the Councils Financial Procedure rules and any direction from the Council or the Clerk or the Neighbourhood Planning Committee.

Appendix 2



SHELAA – 8 sites were considered with a total – Yield 1,066

2(a) Relationship – Sites rejected: 1 (Yield 200)

2(b) Showstopper – Sites rejected 1 (Yield 246)

2 (c) Overall Sites    rejected 5 (Yield 608)

3 Further Testing – Sites 1 Yield 12

Sites Rejected at Stage 2(a) – Relationship to Settlements

682 Ockley Lane and Wellhouse Lane, Hassocks


200 The site is disconnected from the defined built -up area and settlement boundary. Development of the site does not meet the requirements of ‘achieving sustainability development’. (NPPF, Chapter 2). The site is therefore considered unsuitable and has been excluded from further assessment.


Sites Rejected at 2(b) – Showstoppers

901 Open Space, north of Clayton Mills, Hassocks (Previously known as site 753, April 2016) 246 Planning policies should identify a supply of deliverable and developable sites to meet future housing need. A lack of evidence is available that the site is available for development and is therefore considered unsuitable and has been excluded from further assessment. (NPPF Para 68)

The landowner has confirmed that the site is in use as public open space and is not available for residential development.


Sites Rejected at 2(c) – Overall Assessment against Criteria

210 Land rear of 2 Hurst Road (Land opposite Stanford Avenue) Hassocks 25 Transport issues should be considered from the earliest stages of plan-making and development proposals. An assessment of the site has identified severe access issues that are unlikely to be mitigated. It is concluded that development of the site is not acceptable. The site is therefore considered unsuitable for development and has been excluded from further assessment. (NPPF Para 104)

• The site is principally constrained by its lack of safe or available access and by its location adjacent to the Stonepound

Other considerations:

• The site is found to have low landscape capacity, though its sensitivity relates primarily to views out from the existing settlement rather than to views into it from the surrounding area.

375 National Tyre Centre, 60 Keymer Road, Hassocks 8 Site is within or adjacent to the Built-Up Area Boundary; it is therefore considered that a policy compliant development is possible without the need for the site to be allocated.
742 Russell Nursery Brighton Road Hassocks 30 Transport issues should be considered from the earliest stages of plan-making and development proposals. An assessment of the site has identified severe access issues that are unlikely to be mitigated. It is concluded that development of the site is not acceptable. The site is therefore considered unsuitable for development and has been excluded from further assessment. (NPPF Para 104)

• There is uncertainty of achieving access which could require 3rd party land.


• The site is found to have low landscape capacity and is adjacent to the South Downs National Park, which may have impact on its setting.

• There is a TPO group on the north-western part of the site.

752 Land north of Friars Oak, London Road, Hassocks 45 The site is located in an area at high risk of flooding (Zones 2 and/or 3). Inappropriate development in areas at risk of flooding should be avoided (whether existing or future) The site is therefore considered unsuitable for development and has been excluded from further assessment. (NPPF Para 159)

Other considerations:

• Low to low/medium potential for change in landscape terms

• Significant part of the site is covered by trees and/or there is presence of protected trees on/adjacent to the site.

• Listed buildings are present on/within proximity of the site, Less than substantial harm –Low impact

• Moderate impact on archaeological asset

• The site is not currently available

• Site approach would require improvements to accommodate further development –considered to be achievable

• More than 20 minutes – walk to a primary school and health centre

1022 Former Hassocks Golf Club, London Road, Hassocks 500 National Planning Policy gives considerable weight to the protection and enhancement of the natural and historic environment. In assessing the constraints (listed below) of this site in combination it is considered that the benefits of development would not outweigh the combined potential harm to the natural and historic environment

This site is therefore considered unsuitable for development and has been excluded from further assessment:

• Low to low/medium potential for change in landscape terms

• Listed buildings are present on/within proximity of the site, less than substantial harm

• Moderate impact on archaeological asset

Other consideration:

• Access to a main service centre is only likely by private car


Stage 3 – Further Testing: Conclusions

1025 Land at Byanda, Brighton Road, Hassocks 12 The Sustainability Appraisal concludes that, overall, the site represents a sustainable option for allocation. The transport modelling undertaken to date for the District Plan Review does not indicate that there will be any showstoppers.


However, the transport assessment is an iterative process, and the next stage will be to assess capacity mitigation measures, where applicable. The HRA is not anticipated to identify any likely significant effect on the Ashdown Forest SPA and SAC, subject to appropriate mitigation. In terms of air quality, there are currently no anticipated significant effects on the Stonepound Crossroads AQMA, or adverse impacts on the Ashdown Forest; however, this will be confirmed through ongoing scenario testing.


In light of the above, it is considered that the site represents a suitable option for allocation for C2 use.



Minutes of the informal virtual NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN COMMITTEE meeting held on Thursday 3rd March 2022 at 19.30 pm

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

Clerk:  Ian Cumberworth

NP21/46 APOLOGIES: none


NP21/48 MINUTES to note the Minutes of the Neighbourhood Plan Committee held on the 9th December 2021.


There were no members of the public present.

NP21/50 Community Led plan

Cllr Tester introduced the report and sought Members views as to whether members had any observations/comments on the proposed brief which was set out in Appendix 1 of the papers. Members confirmed they were content with the brief and agreed that this should form the basis of the commission. Members discussed how the initiative could be progressed and how further intelligence could be obtained of those types of organisations/companies that could provide this type of consultancy support.

Members expressed the view that as part of the selection process interested parties should be required to make a presentation/pitch to members on how they would deliver the project and provide evidence of a track record in this type of activity. Members indicated that this could be done virtually to reduce the need for the companies to travel which may provide an opportunity to encourage interested parties from a wider geographical base.

It was agreed that the Clerk would initially make enquiries through the Clerks network via WSALC to seek any recommendations/suggestions from potential parties that provide this type of support. In addition the Clerk agreed to undertake some searches online to establish similar projects undertaken nationally with a view to establishing companies/organisations involved in supporting these projects. Information will then be fed back to members for consideration.

Members expressed the view that timing of this initiative should not be affected as result of MSDC decision to halt the District Plan review and should run independently of the District Plan review timeline.  Depending on the timing of the appointment this will then influence the establishment of any focus groups as this project progresses.

NP21/51 Mid Sussex District Plan Review – members were advised that the plan has currently been paused due to concerns raised by MSDC members over some of the processes followed in the drafting of the document.

MSDC members determined to set up a working group to revisit certain aspects of the proposed draft plan, however HPC were unclear at this point whether the MSDC working party terms of reference have yet been agreed or the timeline MSDC are now working towards.

A number of reasons have led MSDC members to take this action including where some district councillors wards are likely to be impacted by some of the site allocations who felt that the level of consultation was insufficient together with the national picture relating to potential changes being brought forward by Michael Gove (MP) under the levelling up agenda which may impact the housing numbers required.  It is anticipated that this may result in the reduction of overall number of properties needed to be provided.

A number of other local authorities in the south east have taken a similar approach raising concerns regarding the housing numbers directly with Mr Gove (MP) and delayed progressing their respective District Plan reviews.

As part of the draft plan MSDC considered eight potential sites within Hassocks but only one site was recommended for allocation: ‘Byanda’ London Road within the plan. MSDC site evaluations are available via their website.

Cllr Owens sought clarification of the sixteen policies that are being reviewed/amended as part of the District Plan review, it was confirmed that this information could be obtained within the detailed scrutiny report considered by MSDC as the documents remain accessible via MSDC website.

Members discussed various options and approaches the parish may wish to consider at this point. After careful consideration members agreed that efforts should be made to ascertain the various site owners within Hassocks identified through the site assessment process via land registry searches utilising the information within the Land Assessments of each site within the MSDC papers. Members agreed to keep options under review but at present this should be limited to establishing ownership of the eight sites and to review the current assessments to ensure they are robust.

Members were tasked with looking at each assessment in advance of the next Neighbourhood Plan meeting and that land ownership of the sites to be confirmed via the Land registry.

NP21/52 Glover Landscape Report Consultation (SDNP) The Parish Council has received correspondence from the SDNP encouraging Parish Councils to participate in the consultation. Cllr Tester indicated that there may be two areas where the parish may wish to respond on:

  • Bolstering / purpose of the National Park and then perhaps expanding them with
    respect of nature recovery and access

and secondly:

  • Duty of Regard – all of us to have regard to the purpose and perhaps strengthening.

The Clerk indicated that the SDNP were proposing to run a parish workshop on the consultation on the 16th March 6-30 – 8.30 (virtual meeting) which might provide further context background to inform any response to the consultation. Expression of interest were sought and Cllr Weir, Tester, Barton & Owens expressed an interest in attending.

Cllr Hatton sought clarification as to whether this consultation included making the park a highway authority. Cllr Tester confirmed this was not covered, however some authorities had delegated National Parks as highway authorities although this is not the case with West and East Sussex county councils.

Some additional limited enforcement powers are being proposed in respect of managing 4 wheel drive vehicles using park land.

It was also confirmed that the consultation did not cover planning issues in respect of National Parks.

In light of the timeline for closure of the consultation 9th April and the date of the next Neighbourhood Plan meeting 7th April it was agreed that those members attending the SDNP workshop in March should prepare a proposed consultation response for consideration at the next meeting.

NP21/53 Urgent Matters. None

NP21/54 DATE OF NEXT MEETING.  7th April 2022.