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.

A virtual meeting of the NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN COMMITEE will be held on Thursday 29th April at 7.30pm.

Parish Clerk 22nd April 2021



3. MINUTES to accept the minutes of the Neighbourhood Plan Committee held on 18th March 2021 (previously circulated)


5. LETI Climate Emergency Design Guide for buildings Terms of Reference. (Appendix 1) To consider the attached document and the potential impact on the Neighbourhood Plan policies. To view Appendix 1 please click here.

6. Developer meeting protocol In accordance with the protocol members are requested to note a meeting was held on 16th April with representatives of Star Garages regarding a potential development on the National Tyres site, Keymer Road Hassocks.

7. Any other business.

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

9. DATE OF NEXT MEETING. To be agreed

10. Exclusion of the Public and Press 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 present they will be requested to withdraw from the meeting

Please Note
All members of the public are welcome to attend meetings of the Parish Council and its Committees.
Item 3 – 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.

If you wish to attend this virtual meeting please email before 12.00 hrs on the day of the meeting to be sent an electronic invitation by 16.00 on that same day.

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 virtual meeting held on Thursday 29 April 2021 at 19.30 pm

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

Clerk:  Ian Cumberworth

NP20/11 APOLOGIES: None:



There were no members of the public present.

NP20/14 LETI Climate Emergency Design Guide for buildings Terms of Reference   Cllr Nick Owens introduced the paper and indicated that there was currently a gap between the environmental efficiency of house building and the most recent update of the Building Regulations. To assist in encouraging an improvement in the efficiency standard of build within the parish the Council could consider encouraging properties to be built in alignment with a design guide similar to the LETI document that forms part of this report. This document provides a framework for different types of building and has been adopted by some London authorities and a number of other organisations. This would support and add weight to the Neighbourhood Plan Policy 5. A design guide would enable the Council to set an aspiration of efficiency build standards and further support the Ministry of Housing notification issued in February this year regarding ‘Nearly Zero Buildings Requirements for New Buildings’

It was acknowledged that the Parish Council is not the planning authority therefore consideration was required as to how this could work in practice. It was suggested that the parish could consider reviewing its current Neighbourhood Plan or work with MSDC to build into their District Plan. Cllr Owens reaffirmed that there are other design guides out there so it did not have to be based on the LETI version. Members were then invited to comment on the document.

Cllr Hatton noted that the guide had been signed up to by Clarion Housing who are a major provider on the Northern Arc. Cllr Hatton agreed that the sentiment behind the guide was reasonable and amplifies Policy 5 of the Hassocks Neighbourhood Plan but this would need to be raised with MSDC about adopting these or similar standards.

Cllr Weir felt that the document covered all types of buildings whereas in Hassocks we were primarily focussed on private dwelling houses therefore this type of development should be focussed on so that it is easier to read and influence the hearts and minds of people within our community.

Cllr Owens acknowledged that the document is complex but it also covered schools and within the document there were one page summaries on various types of building such as small-scale housing /schools etc. At this point Cllr Owens shared his screen to illustrate to members the one page summary sheets which provided a useful summary of requirements and how performance is measured.

Members expressed the view that the summary sheets would be helpful.

Cllr Owens stated that many authorities have declared a Climate Emergency and Government is bringing in the Future Home Standards so it should be relatively easy to gain hearts and minds to this cause with the district. It was acknowledged though that MSDC had failed to declare a Climate emergency at this point.

Members felt that this should not be a barrier to engaging with MSDC on this matter.

Cllr Berggreen indicated that there would be limited value of a design guide without MSDC being on board, ideally they should have the same.

Cllr Owens felt that it would be a huge amount of work for MSDC to draft something from scratch therefore they may be prepared to piggyback on an existing document.

Cllr Tester expressed the view that this approach would also be attractive to the Parish but that any guidance would still only be advisory as Neighbourhood Plans are not able to be prescriptive about sustainable construction measures.  She reiterated her advice that it would not be prudent to undertake a full review of the Neighbourhood Plan now due to the uncertainty over their future under the Government’s Planning reforms.  However, they could refer to the LETI Guide in support of Policy 5, and indeed the Planning Committee had agreed to do so already in response to planning applications.

Cllr Tester suggested that the Parish should incorporate a link to this guide on its Neighbourhood Plan webpage and move the Townscape Appraisal onto this page as well as it is referenced in Policy 9.  Making these guides more obvious to applicants and agents would help to encourage developers to have regard to them within their designs.

Members suggested that the Parish should work with the District and encourage them to strengthen their District Plan polices so that more weight can be added to energy efficient construction. A design guide could be a useful tool to facilitate this.

Cllr Weir sought clarification as to whether the design guide had been driven by members in the London Boroughs. Cllr Owens was unsure however he believed a number of borough councils had also signed up to the standards. Cllr Owens questioned whether the leader of MSDC would be interested in energy efficiency. Cllr Hatton indicated that the leading group at MSDC have previously declined to declare a Climate emergency therefore it may prove difficult to engage with MSDC on this matter at this point.

Cllr Tester indicated that in previous discussions MSDC had indicated that this may be an area of discussion at a Parish conference which MSDC were proposing to hold over the summer.

Members discussed options as to how this initiative maybe taken forward. It was suggested that the need to engage with the District Council could be more effective if all Parish Councils could make representations collectively as a group. It was suggested that this might be possible via MSALC which is the group that represents all Parish and Town Councils within Mid Sussex. It was agreed that MSALC be approached to see if Cllr Owens could make a presentation to them with a view to MSALC lobbying MSDC collectively.

In addition it was proposed and agreed that Cllr Owens would draft an article for publication in the Hassocks Life to promote energy efficiency in consultation with Cllr Weir and the Clerk. The Clerk undertook to forward the copy dates for the publication.

Members reaffirmed they were keen to encourage properties being built to a better standard.

NP20/15 Developer meeting protocol – Members noted that a meeting had been held with Star Garages regarding a potential development on the National Tyres site.

NP20/16 Any other business

Cllr Tester sought member’s views as to whether there were any other business members wished to raise.

Cllr Weir felt that this group should compile a list of what infrastructure projects we would like to see realised within the parish if development occurs. It was felt that the group could draw on their experience to draw something up. One area for consideration might be provision of allotments.

Members believed there is a list already in existence but would require refreshing.  The Clerk agreed to share the existing list with the Committee via email.

Members briefly discussed the option of commissioning a masterplan for the village although there was limited appetite for this and it was felt focus should be on developing an infrastructure schedule of requirements for the village.

NP20/17 Urgent Matters None.

NP20/18 DATE OF NEXT MEETING.  10th June 2021. Members expressed the view that meetings should be driven by demand rather than meeting for meetings sake therefore scheduled dates will be kept under review.