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 20th April 7.30pm.

Parish Clerk 12th April 2023



3. MINUTES to accept the minutes of the Neighbourhood Plan Committee held on 26th January 2023 (previously circulated)


5. Hassocks Priorities Statement – Survey Report and Priority Statement.

To consider the content on the survey report and the feedback from the ‘public’ drop in session held in Adastra Hall on 16th February 2023 (Appendix 1) and to consider the content of the Draft Hassocks Priority Statement (Appendix 2) to determine how this initiative is to be progressed/developed.
To view Appendix 1 please click here.
To view Appendix 2 please click here.

6. SDNP Open Space Assessment 2023 aims to identify the current publicly accessible Open Space provision within the parish inside the park. In respect of the parish this is limited to Clayton. Based on the definitions set out in the guidance notes (Appendix 3) it would indicate

Two sites meet the defined criteria:

  • St John the Baptist Church, Underhill Lane BN6 9PJ
  • Clayton Recreation Ground, Underhill Lane

On this basis forms have been completed returns for these sites (copies to follow).

The purpose of the study is to understand how much public open space is available across the National Park and identify any shortfall, which can be considered through the Local Plan Review. SDNP also want to understand the different types of public open space, which exist across the National Park and any issues associated with the open space.’

Members are requested to note action taken.

To view Appendix 3 please click here.

7. Any other business

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


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.

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.

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.


Minutes of the NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN COMMITTEE meeting held on Thursday 20th April 2023 at 19.30 pm

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

Clerk:  Ian Cumberworth

NP22/48 APOLOGIES: Carolyn Barton



Minutes of the Neighbourhood Plan Committee held on the 26th January 2023 were agreed and accepted as a true record.


There were no members of the public present.

NP22/52 Hassocks Priorities Statement – Survey Report and Priority Statement

Members were advised that the Survey Report and Consultation Report were primarily for information setting out how the Council approached this initiative to inform the drafting of the Priorities Statement.

Cllr Tester therefore encouraged members to focus on the Priorities Statement and proceeded to take members through elements of the report and responded to any points of clarification sought.

Members were advised that there may be opportunities for the Council to incorporate more detail in areas such as public open spaces and how they would be developed further, to update the current infrastructure list to reflect the outcome of the consultation and incorporate flood mitigation measures as potential future priorities. Although some of the items identified may not be in the parishes direct gift to control they should still remain aspirations.

Members were informed that if they were happy with the current statement it was envisaged that this Committee would recommend that the report goes forward to Council for consideration.

Once Council has agreed the statement it would then be expected to go out to a wider consultation similar to that of a Regulation 14 process.  At present the consultation in drafting this plan has been limited primarily to residents and some local business within the parish.

It will be necessary to consult on the drafted statement with a wider audience including Statutory Consultees (e.g. District Council, South Downs National Park Authority, Network Rail, Health Service etc.) and go back out to the public and local businesses to provide them with the opportunity to comment on the published version.

It was acknowledged that we are one of the first parish councils to commence development of a Priorities Statement in advance of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill passing through parliament later this year.  Once this legislation is passed, Priorities Statements will attain greater weight in the planning process.

Once the final version has been agreed Members could utilise the information to inform future work streams and update their business plan which is due to be refreshed during the new municipal year.

Members thanked Cllr Tester for all her work on this initiative and indicated they were content with the Priorities Statement as drafted.

Members RESOLVED to RECOMMEND that Council consider the drafted Priorities Statement for APPROVAL and that Council should give further consideration as to how they wish to manage the next phase of the wider consultation process.

Members expressed the view that in light of the business establishing the new council membership at the meeting scheduled in May it was AGREED that the Priorities Statement should be held over and considered at the Council’s June meeting.

Members also requested that the Clerk advise the SDNPA on the progress made in respect of the Priorities Statement as the Park are currently encouraging parish councils to progress these.

NP22/53 SDNP Settlement facilities and Open spaces assessment 2023.

The SDNP had requested parish councils to provide pro forma returns for those settlements and open spaces within their respective parishes that sit within the National Park.

Prior to the meeting members had been provided with a number of documents for consideration setting out the settlement facilities and open spaces assessment for Clayton, which is the only settlement within the parish that sits within the park.

Members were invited to review the documents prior to formal submission. Members were advised that the settlement facilities pro forma required amendment to incorporate a response regarding internet connectivity now that clarification had been sought on the definition used by the SDNP. On this basis members indicated they were satisfied with the responses recorded in this document.

Using the definitions set out in the Open space assessment forms this identified two areas that met the relevant criteria within Clayton.

  • St Johns the Baptist Church
  • Clayton Recreation Ground

Members went through each assessment return and made a number of observations that should be incorporated regarding access and quality of the facilities.

St Johns the Baptist Church

Members felt that the community hall owned by the church is heavily used by the community and if funding became available from the National Park this could be utilised to further improve the facility.

Clayton Recreation Ground

Members raised issues regarding the improvement of the hedgerow on the recreation ground’s boundary (bordering the A273) and indicated the site may benefit from further tree planting.

Access to the car park could be improved as sightlines onto Underhill Lane are poor.

Site access could be improved further in respect of PROW 14c which currently requires a dangerous crossing of New Road.

The Clerk was requested to incorporate the proposed amendments in the returns and formally submit them to the SDNP on behalf of the Council. The Clerk undertook to do so.

NP22/54 Any Other Business.

Members placed on record their thanks to Councillor Tester for all the work she had undertaken whilst she has served on the Council and would leave a big gap to fill once she stands down as a Councillor in May.

NP22/55 Urgent Matters. None