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 remotely on Thursday 9th December at 7.30pm.

Parish Clerk – 1 December 2021



3. MINUTES to note the minutes of the Neighbourhood Plan Committee held on 2nd September 2021.


5   Proposal for preparing a Community-led Plan for Hassocks


In November 2020 Hassocks Parish Council agreed to set up the Neighbourhood Plan Committee.  It met for the first time in March 2021 and agreed its terms of reference. The responsibilities of the Committee include:

Point 7. The Neighbourhood Plan Committee is appointed to take the lead responsibility, on behalf of Hassocks Parish Council, for the development and reviewing of a Neighbourhood Plan (NP).

Point 10. The Neighbourhood Plan Committee is authorised to engage with, communicate, collect and collate information for the Neighbourhood Plan from other parish councils, Mid Sussex District Council, West Sussex County Council, residents, residents’ organisations, business organisations, service providers, landowners and other stakeholders, maintaining proper records of all communication and providing reports thereof for Hassocks Parish Council.

Point 11. The making of recommendations to Full Council in respect of developing or reviewing/amending the Neighbourhood plan and the Councils position in relation to changes affecting the Parish or changes in government policy.

It was agreed at the March meeting that a full review of the Neighbourhood Plan (including examination and referendum) was not necessary at this stage but that the Committee should consider the effectiveness of the existing Neighbourhood Plan and where it could be supplemented.  Subsequently it was agreed to publish guidance on sustainable building design on the Council’s website and to refer to this guidance in responses to planning applications.

Current Situation

The reasons that a full review of the Neighbourhood Plan was not considered necessary in March are still relevant:

  • The existing Neighbourhood Plan was only made part of the Development Plan in 2020 and is therefore one of the most up-to-date in Mid Sussex.
  • The emerging Mid Sussex District Plan Review is still at an early stage (first public consultation due Spring 2022) so the strategic context of a new Neighbourhood Plan is unknown; and
  • The Government’s Planning Reforms have been ‘paused’. Early indications from Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove, is that communities may be given a stronger role but no details have been published.

However, the early community engagement on the Neighbourhood Plan took place around 2013/14 and a lot has changed since then.  People are generally more aware of Climate Change and biodiversity loss and the pandemic has changed the way people live and work and may have changed the way the community want the parish of Hassocks to function in the future.

The Proposal

Community-led Plans have existed long before the advent of Neighbourhood Plans, and helped communities identify their vision for the future, their detailed objectives and the actions needed to achieve these.  Hassocks prepared a ‘Village Action Plan’ in 2002 (Appendix 1) (To view Appendix 1 please click here) and many of the issues raised are still relevant today.

The community engagement process for a Community-led Plan is very similar to the early engagement on a Neighbourhood Plan (see appended guidance from Action in rural Sussex on ‘9 steps in the Community-Led Planning Process’. (Appendix 2) (To view Appendix 2 please click here). It should be noted that Action in Rural Sussex is the only one organisation that supports such Plans and other options may be available).

The advantages of preparing a Community-led Plan are as follows:

  • The Parish Council will get an up-to-date picture of what the community sees as the important issues for Hassocks.
  • Unlike a Neighbourhood Plan a Community-led Plan is not restricted to matters that can be controlled through the planning system but can look holistically at all of the issues facing the parish and all of the options for addressing them.
  • There are no examination or referendum processes required so the process is much quicker than a Neighbourhood Plan – 1-2 years depending on the level of resources given to it.
  • The Community-led Plan could inform and give weight to the Parish Council’s input to the Mid Sussex District Plan Review; and
  • The Community-led Plan could inform any future review of the Neighbourhood Plan once the national and district planning context is clearer – effectively the Community-led Plan would form the early community engagement stage of the Neighbourhood Plan Review.

Resource and Other Implications

The production of any type of Plan requires project management to ensure that it stays on track and that appropriate resources are allocated to it.  Community engagement also benefits from independent and specialist support to ensure that it reaches a wide audience and garners useful feedback.  It is recommended that the Parish Council procures this support, which is estimated to cost approximately £2,500.

One of the first steps recommended by Action in Rural Sussex the appended ‘9 steps in the Community-Led Planning Process’ is to set up a steering group.  The Neighbourhood Plan Committee can perform this function and the Terms of Reference allow for the co-option of three non – Parish Council members.  It is recommended that such co-option should go ahead to support the preparation of the Community-led Plan.  Co-opted members should represent wider community interests, and suggestions for new members can also be discussed at the Committee meeting or given directly to the Clerk.


That the Neighbourhood Plan Committee discuss the contents of this paper and recommends to full Council that a Hassocks Community-led Plan is prepared and that a budget of £2,500 is allocated for 2022/23 for support with project management and community engagement.

6    East Sussex South Downs and Brighton & Hove Waste and Minerals Local Plan: Revised Policies Proposed Submission Regulation 19 Consultation

The Council have recently received an invitation to participate in the following consultation therefore members are requested to consider whether they wish to submit any observations in response to the consultation. The closing date for this consultation is 4th January 2022.

Subject: East Sussex, South Downs and Brighton & Hove Waste and Minerals Local Plan: Revised Policies Proposed Submission Regulation 19 Consultation: 29 October 2021 to 4 January 2022

Dear Sir/Madam,

East Sussex County Council, Brighton & Hove City Council and the South Downs National Park Authority (the Authorities) are jointly updating planning policy for the production of minerals, safeguarding minerals facilities and minerals in East Sussex and Brighton & Hove. The update also includes revisions to a small number of other policies in the East Sussex, South Downs and Brighton & Hove Waste and Minerals Plan, and Waste and Minerals Sites Plan. The Revised Policies Document sets out which policy changes are being proposed to the existing Waste and Minerals Local Plan, which encompasses both the Waste and Minerals Plan, adopted in February 2013, and the Waste and Minerals Sites Plan, adopted February 2017.

We are now seeking representations from all stakeholders and members of the public on the soundness and legal compliance of the proposed Revised Policies. Representations may be made between Friday 29 October 2021 and Tuesday 4 January 2022.

The Revised Policies Document and its supporting documentation are available to view online at and at the deposit points detailed on the consultation notice. If you have any difficulties accessing the documents, please contact us on the details below.

We would also like to ask for your help in publicising this consultation and print off a copy of our Consultation Poster and display it in a prominent position to make people aware of the consultation between 29 October 2021 and 4 January 2022.

If you have any trouble opening the links above, please see the end of this email for the complete links to copy and paste into your web browser.

How do I make representations?

Representations can be submitted:

What does my representation need to contain?

Your representation must contain the following information:

  • Name;
  • Address;
  • Clearly state which topic your representation relates to, (i.e. legal compliance, and / or soundness), and if in your opinion the Revised Policies document fails to meet either of these.
  • Your comment, including any proposed modifications, and in the case of comments relating to soundness, how the plan should be altered to make it sound.
  • If, in your view, you consider it necessary to attend the oral part of the Examination, and if so, why.

How will we use your representation?

Your response will form part of the public record. We will use it in the preparation of the review of the Waste and Minerals Local Plan. It will be shared with the Planning Inspectorate who will use it to carry out their duties. We and / or the Planning Inspectorate may contact you on the details provided. Your email address, telephone number and signature will not be placed on the public record. For more details on how we will use your data please see our privacy notice.

The deadline for representations is midnight on Tuesday 4 January 2022.

Contact Us

If you have any queries please email us at


Member’s views are sought.

7     Site Allocations DPD: Main Modifications Consultation.

The Council have recently received an invitation to participate in the following consultation therefore members are requested to consider whether they wish to submit any observations. The closing date for this consultation is 24th January 2022.

Mid Sussex District Council – Planning Policy

Site Allocations DPD: Main Modifications Consultation

Following hearing sessions held in June 2021, the Planning Inspector appointed to examine the Council’s Site Allocations DPD has suggested modifications, which will now be subject to consultation.

The role of the Sites DPD is to set out how the Council plans to meet the District’s outstanding housing and employment needs up to 2031. The Sites DPD recommends 22 housing and 7 employment sites at locations across Mid Sussex, plus a Science and Technology Park.

The independent Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State held hearing sessions in June 2021 and heard evidence from all interested parties. Following this the Inspector is suggesting a small number of modifications to the Sites DPD to ensure it meets legal and soundness requirements.

The proposed modifications are now subject to consultation which will run for 8-weeks from 29th November 2021 until 24th January 2022.

The schedule of Main Modifications and accompanying documents are available online at The website also provides details on how to respond to the consultation.

Note that comments must be focussed only on the suggested modifications, which are put forward without prejudice to the Inspector’s final conclusions. All representations will be taken into account by the Inspector who will aim to provide his final report for consideration by Council early in the new year.


Member’s views are sought. If members were minded to submit any observations these could be brought back to the January meeting of the Neighbourhood Committee for ratification prior to submission.

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

9    DATE OF NEXT MEETING. 13th January 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.


Minutes of the informal virtual NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN COMMITTEE meeting held on Thursday 9 December 2021 at 19.30 pm

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

Clerk:  Ian Cumberworth

NP21/37 APOLOGIES: Cllr Bill Hatton


NP21/39 MINUTES to note the Minutes of the Neighbourhood Plan Committee held on the 2nd September 2021.


There were no members of the public present.

NP21/41 Proposal for preparing a Community – led Plan for Hassocks

Cllr Tester introduced the report and sought Members views as to whether there was any appetite in developing a Community led Village Plan which could be used to support any future review of the Neighbourhood Plan. Cllr Tester indicated that if the Council chose to take this route it would take 1-2 years dependent on the level of resource deployed to support this process.The process would involve extensive consultation with stakeholders and interested parties to establish what the community’s aspirations/wishes were for the parish recognising that a lot has changed since the community engagement on the Neighbourhood Plan was carried out. This could assist the Council in making representations on behalf of the parish as part of the District Plan review consultation. Ultimately any information gathered from this process could be used to inform a review of the Neighbourhood Plan if Members were minded to undertake such a review.

Members were informed that within the current Neighbourhood Plan Committee’s terms of reference there appears to be scope for this Committee to consider this proposal.

Members were advised that, if they were interested in exploring this option, the Council would need to consider how it would propose to engage with the community and how any data could be utilised. Hassocks Parish Council had previously drafted a Village Plan in 2002 but the village has changed significantly since then and the community may now have different aspirations for the village, although some items previously identified remain relevant today. Parish Councils have not undertaken many Community led Village Plans in recent years as they have tended to focus on the development of Neighbourhood Plans.

Cllr Owens sought further clarification as to the weight this document would have compared to the Neighbourhood Plan. Cllr Tester advised that although it didn’t have the same weight as the Neighbourhood Plan it covered a far wider remit than just planning issues. An adopted Village Plan would represent the views of the wider community therefore the Parish Council would be able to make representations in respect of the District Plan knowing the extent of the support of the Community. This plan would not be subject to the same examination/referendum processes required in respect of a Neighbourhood Plan.

Cllr Weir stated that he liked the simplistic presentation of the original village plan which clearly set out what the community wanted rather than the focus on planning policies. It was also noted that lots of the actions identified in the original plan have been achieved.

Cllr Tester indicated that, dependent on the interest from Community groups and the commitment shown, it would be advisable to increase the membership of the Neighbourhood Plan Committee which is permitted under the current terms of reference. If there was substantial interest the Committee could also appoint a number of focus groups looking at specific areas of interest. Members noted that, when the previous village plan was drafted, there had been a strong community representation who were actively engaged in the process.

Cllr Tester informed members, that if the Council chose to go down this route, external support would be required to oversee the project and run facilitation sessions therefore this Committee would need to consider supporting a funding allocation in next year’s budget. It was suggested that, if Members were minded to progress the initiative, then an initial sum of around £2,500 should be assigned for the initial stages as it was felt to be beneficial if someone independent was overseeing/facilitating the work streams. Some Members expressed the view that this may not be sufficient however others felt additional funds could be drawn down at a later point if required once a detailed proposal had been drafted.

Members expressed the view that a number of working groups within the Parish Council had proved successful to date and some of their work streams could be used to feed into this process together with the wider community groups within the village. As part of the process matters such as climate change/flood protection and sustainable building design could be considered and embedded within the Plan. It was acknowledged that there is a whole new raft of people in village now when compared to the earlier study in 2002. Cllr Barton indicated that it would be good to engage with the younger community to seek their views and encourage as wide a diversity and demographic participation as possible. Members indicated that there was merit in exploring the option of delivering a village plan to obtain the views and aspirations of the community for the village.

In principle Members were supportive of the proposal to support an initial £2,500 allocation within the 2022/23 budget and proposed a draft project brief should be created with a view to seeking proposals once budget setting had been finalised. This would then enable the Council to determine the overall level of support required and assess the potential costs to deliver the project.

Cllr Tester indicated that she would be happy to draft a brief for consultants over the Christmas break and circulate to members for consideration at the January Committee meeting which could be used to form the basis to invite quotations. It was unlikely that paid work would commence before April 2022 and the first consultation on the District Plan Review would take place around the same time. Sufficient information should be available to enable the Council to feed into later consultations on the District Plan Review process.

Members acknowledged that this proposed initiative was a good way of covering wider issues of the village that were not covered by the current Neighbourhood Plan. But information gathered could be used to inform any future Neighbourhood Plan review and enable the parish to provide an evidence base of the communities’ aspirations and vision for the village going forward.

Members indicated they were supportive of the proposal to set aside an initial £2,500 for the feasibility stage of the project in the forthcoming budget for 2022/23 and progressing the scheme and to revisit the funding options once proposals are taken to market.

Members noted that at present Council are scheduled to consider budget proposals in mid-January.

NP21/42 East Sussex, South Downs and Brighton & Hove Waste and Minerals Local Plan: Revised Policies proposed submission Regulation 19 Consultation.

Members were requested to consider whether they wished to submit a consultation response. Due to the limited relevance to the parish Members indicated they were content not to submit any response to this particular consultation.

NP21/43 Site Allocations DPD: Main Modifications Consultation Members were requested to consider whether they wished to make any representations in response to this consultation.

Members discussed the options, Cllr Tester indicated that there were possibly only two modifications that the Council may wish to respond on. The first item was in relation to the site north of Ockley Lane which the Parish had previously made representations on, although the amendment only appeared to relate to the setting within the National Park therefore it’s unlikely the Council could add any more than what has previously been submitted in its earlier representation.

The other item related to a new policy MM3 to address the need for specialist accommodation for older people and care homes. The initial position of MSDC was that there was sufficient supply of these types of properties, however the examiner clearly did not support this position and has proposed a new policy to facilitate this type of accommodation.

As a result of this the Main Modifications include a new policy which has identified that up to 665 additional extra care units are required before 2030 within the district. This new policy may impact on the current ongoing application within the parish in relation to the ‘Byanda’ site and others that may come forward in future.

Members expressed the view that the main concern regarding the Byanda development related to the suitability of site it was proposed to be located on and the scale of the proposal but acknowledged the Parish Council did not have evidence to challenge the assertion that there was a need for these types of developments. Members indicated that any proposal should ensure that adequate green infrastructure is provided for the proposed residents and minimise the impact on the existing local residents.

Members felt that the Parish should submit a representation in respect of the new policy (MM3) and should encompass the issues referenced above together with raising concerns around further erosion of local gaps and coalescence with existing settlements.

Members agreed that the Clerk be requested to draft a response to the consultation for circulation to members of this Committee prior to submission. The view was expressed that, with the consultation scheduled to close on the 24th January 2022, there was sufficient time to come to consensus and agree a response prior to submission.

NP21/44 Urgent Matters. None

NP21/45 DATE OF NEXT MEETING.  13th January 2022.