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Table of contents:
Hassocks Neighbourhood Plan Referendum Results of Poll
Notice of Referendum
Decision On a Proposal
Independent Examination
Hassocks Neighbourhood Plan Update September 2019
Publication of the Hassocks Neighbourhood Plan
NPWG meeting 23 May 2019
Hassocks Parish Council To Play Leading Role In
Friars Oak Fields Appeal

Hassocks Parish Council Statement Regarding Friars Oak Judicial Review
Planning Approval
Hassocks Neighbourhood Plan Regulation 16 Consultation 2016


Support for residents and developers in implementing Policy 5 Enabling Zero Carbon and Policy 9 Character and Design.

The Parish Council has set up a Neighbourhood Plan Committee to keep the Plan under review and encourage its use.  The following guidance is intended to support the implementation of Policy 5 Enabling Zero Carbon and Policy 9 Character and Design. Residents and developers are encouraged to use this guidance to help make their projects sustainable and appropriate for Hassocks.  May 2021.

London Energy Transport Initiative – Climate Emergency Design Guide. 

Hassocks Townscape Appraisal

Hassocks Landscape Character Areas Map

Hassocks Centre Townscape Analysis Map


At the meeting of Full Council on 24th June 2020, Mid Sussex District Council resolved to ‘make’ the Hassocks Neighbourhood Development Plan 2014-2031.

This means that the Hassocks Neighbourhood Development Plan has been brought into legal force, and forms part of the statutory Development Plan for Hassocks Parish.

The document are available to view on the Mid Sussex District Council website:


The residents of Hassocks gave a ringing endorsement to the Hassocks Neighbourhood Plan at the referendum held on the 5th March. Voters braved torrential rain and a bitter cold wind to go to the Adastra Hall and support the Plan.  1,729 voted in the Referendum of which 1,635 voted in favour of the plan which represents 94.8%. The turnout was 26.43% which is very good for a local referendum, particularly in view of the inclement weather.

Chairman of the Neighbourhood Plan Working Group Cllr Bill Hatton said “In voting to accept the Plan the people of Hassocks have shown great maturity of judgement. They clearly understood that the Plan gives us the best chance to protect our village and the countryside around it. We are very grateful for their support.

A very big thank you too to the members of our community who freely gave their time and expertise to our Working Party. We could not have done it without them.

We would also like to thank all those who took part in the lively debate about the Plan on social media, especially those who supported the Plan and encouraged others to come out and do likewise.

I am very pleased to say that the Plan now has statutory force and all planning applications will now be judged against its’ Policies”

Hassocks Neighbourhood Plan Referendum Results of Poll

For the results of the Hassocks Neighbourhood Plan Referendum please click on the link: NP Referendum Declaration of Result of Poll

Notice of Referendum

5th March 2020

Now it’s up to you!

For several years now the Parish Council and members of the community have been working on a Plan for our Parish. It has not been easy. Since we started to prepare our Plan permission has either been given, or sanctioned by a Government Inspector, for many more new homes than we originally planned. The Parish Council and a huge number of residents campaigned hard against these developments (Ham Fields, Friars Oak and North of Clayton Mills) but were not successful. But, in spite of these setbacks, and after careful consideration of the pros and cons, the Council concluded that we should proceed with the Plan because that would give us the best chance to control our future.

A Government Inspector has now approved the Draft Hassocks Neighbourhood Plan and recommended that it should go to a local referendum. This is because the law requires a Neighbourhood Plan to receive the support of residents.

The time has arrived for Hassocks to decide whether or not it wants a Neighbourhood Plan.

The Final Version of the Plan, which contains the amendments recommended by the Inspector, can be read here  and on the Mid Sussex District Council website. Paper copies are also available to view in the Parish Centre. The Plan contains very strong Policies for the Protection of the Countryside Gaps between Hassocks, Burgess Hill, Hurstpierpoint and Ditchling: designates a series of valuable Local Green Spaces round the Village and a comprehensive series of Housing, Environmental and Design Policies.

The referendum will be held on the 5th March 2020. All those eligible to vote in Hassocks, Keymer and Clayton will be invited to take part. If a majority of those voting are in favour of the Plan it will be adopted. If a majority vote against it will not.

Bill Hatton, Chair of the Neighbourhood Plan working Group said “Please spare the time to have a look at our Plan. The overwhelming advantage to our village is to have the protection of a Neighbourhood Plan. Not having one will place the village at much greater risk of further unplanned development. We all know that Hassocks is a great place to live and bring up our families. So does the development world. Developer interest remains very strong and if our Plan is rejected we will have far less ability to control our future and protect our environment.”

Further information can be found on the Mid Sussex District Council Website pages – Neighbourhood Plan Referendums and Neighbourhood Plans.

27 January 2020 

MSDC publishes a Notice of Referendum on Hassocks Neighbourhood Plan.  Further information can be found by clicking here

Decision On A Proposal

23 January 2020 (MSDC website update)

On 13th January 2020, Mid Sussex District Council’s Cabinet agreed the Decision Statement for the Hassocks Neighbourhood Plan. This sets out the modifications that will be made to the Neighbourhood Plan in response to the Examiner’s recommendations.

The Hassocks Neighbourhood Plan has been modified accordingly and will proceed to Referendum on 5th March 2020

Hassocks Neighbourhood Plan Independent Examination

7 January 2020. 

Hassocks Parish Council resolves to accept the amendments and recommendations as proposed by the Examiner.   Hassocks PC Full Council Meeting minutes 7.1.20

December 2019 (MSDC website update)


The Examiner has now issued his final report, which the District Council will consider. A ‘Decision Statement’ will be prepared setting out the actions to be taken in response to the recommendations of the Examiner. The Decision Statement will be presented to Cabinet on 13th January 2020.

October 2019 (MSDC website update)

Mid Sussex District Council has appointed Mr Andrew Ashcroft MRTPI as independent Examiner of the Hassocks Neighbourhood Plan. The Examiner will assess whether the Hassocks Neighbourhood Plan meets certain legal requirements, known as ‘basic conditions’ and will consider the representations made on the Neighbourhood Plan.

The following note sets out the Examiner’s initial comments on the submitted Neighbourhood Plan and areas where it would be helpful to have further clarification.

The following documents set out the Parish Council and MSDC’s response to the Examiner’s questions:

A summary of the representations received during the Submission consultation (Regulation 16) is set out below:

Hassocks Neighbourhood Plan Update September 2019

Consultation on the Hassocks Neighbourhood Plan (HNP) ran from Monday 22 July 2019 until Monday 16 September 2019 and the consultation period is now closed.   

An examiner has been appointed to undertake the examination of the HNP.  Any representations made on the Submission Plan will now be considered by the Examiner who will assess whether the HNP meets certain legal requirements known as ‘basic conditions’. 

20 September 2019

Publication of the Hassocks Neighbourhood Plan

Please click here for further information.


Mid Sussex District Council as the Local Planning Authority has published the Hassocks Neighbourhood Plan for public consultation in accordance with part 5 of the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012.

Hassocks Parish lies to the south of Burgess Hill, and contains the villages of Hassocks and Keymer and the hamlet of Clayton. The southern part of the Parish is located within the South Downs National Park. The NDP includes polices on Housing, Local Gaps, Local Green Spaces, environment, heritage, community Infrastructure, transport, the economy and sustainability. Once adopted, these polices will be used to determine planning applications locally along with the Mid Sussex District Plan.

Consultation on the Submission (Regulation 16) version of the Neighbourhood Plan is taking place for 8 weeks from 9:00am Monday 22nd July 2019 until Midnight Monday 16th September 2019. All representations received from this consultation will be forwarded to an independent Examiner appointed to examine the Neighbourhood Plan.

Copies of the Hassocks Neighbourhood Plan and supporting documents are available to view on MSDC website at:

Hard copies of the plan are available for inspection at:

Mid Sussex District Council Offices, Oaklands Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 1SS (normal office hours apply); and

Hassocks Parish Council Offices,  Parish Centre, Adastra Park, Keymer Rd, Hassocks  BN6 8QH (opening hours Monday to Thursday 10am to 2pm;  Friday 10am to 12 noon)

How to Make Representations:

Formal comments can be submitted online using the representation form at: or by email to: or to Planning Policy and Economic Development, Mid Sussex District Council, Oaklands Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH16 1SS.

All comments must be received by midnight on Monday 16th September 2019. All comments received will be public information (personal contact details will not be published).

If you have any queries, please contact the Planning Policy and Economic Development Team on (01444 477263) or email

Any representations may include a request to be notified regarding the decision under Regulation 19 (decision on making a plan) to make the submitted neighbourhood development plan for Hassocks Parish.



The Revised Neighbourhood Plan has been submitted to Mid Sussex District Council in accordance with the Neighbourhood Plan Regulations. It has now been accepted by Mid Sussex District Council under Section 15 of the Regulations and they will carry out a public consultation on the Plan. This will commence on 22 July 2019 and will last for 8 weeks. Following this Mid Sussex District Council will tabulate the comments received and will arrange for a Public Examination to be held in the late Autumn. An Inspector, Mr Andrew Ashcroft, has been appointed by Mid Sussex District Council to conduct the Examination.

The Neighbourhood Plan Working Group will not meet again until the end of the Consultation Period in late September 2019 because there will be no business to transact until Hassocks Parish Council receives the consultation results from Mid Sussex District Council.


At the Full Council meeting held on June 11 2019 (Agenda & Minutes ), Members resolved to agree the content of the Draft Submission Neighbourhood Plan (Revision 7) and approve the submission of the plan to Mid Sussex District Council to progress to Regulation 16.

Please click hereto view the agreed plan.

Please click on the links below to view the documents that will be discussed at the NPWG meeting 23 May 2019:

DRAFT Submission_May 2019
Submission HNP updates
Review of Policy 2_Local Green Spaces_May 2019.
Reg 14 Response in respect of Housing _Hassocks Neighbourhood Plan
Policy 1_ Local Gaps
DRAFT Submission SA_May 2019
Draft Non Technical Summary_May 2019




Hassocks Parish Council has formally withdrawn the Submission (Regulation 16) Hassocks Neighbourhood Plan dated June 2016 as set out in the letter below dated 4th January 2019.

Consultation on the new Pre-submission (Regulation 14) Neighbourhood Plan will start on Monday 7th January 2019 until Monday 18 February 2019.

The Hassocks Pre-submission (Regulation 14) Neighbourhood Plan and a range of supporting documents can be found under HPC Reg 14 Consultation on the Hassocks Parish Council website.  Hard copies of the documents are also available for inspection at the Parish Centre.

The consultation is open for a statutory period of 6 weeks until 18th February 2019 after which all comments will be reviewed and where appropriate will be used to inform the next stage of the Plan.

Please send your comments by email to or by mail to the Clerk to the Council, Parish Centre, Adastra Park, Keymer Road, Hassocks BN6 8QH.

For full details please click here


Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC) have stopped work on Hassocks Parish Council’s Neighbourhood Plan whilst it waits for a decision on the number of homes required for the whole of Mid Sussex District.

There is absolutely nothing the Parish Council can do about this because the Neighbourhood Planning Regulations stipulate that once a Draft Plan has been submitted to, and accepted by, the Local Planning Authority – Mid Sussex – control of the Plan must pass to them.

The next step is for a Public Examination to be held, presided over by an Independent Government Inspector, who will be appointed by MDSC. But unexpectedly and most unfortunately they have delayed this Examination until agreement is reached on the housing requirement for the entire District of Mid Sussex for the Plan Period of 2014 – 2031.

The District Plan, which has now been ten years in preparation, was rejected by the Government Inspector earlier this year on the grounds that it made insufficient provision for new housing. MSDC had proposed 13,600 homes and the Inspector ruled that 17,442 homes was the minimum requirement. Part of this increase arose from a ruling by the Inspector that MSDC should provide an additional 150 homes each year to satisfy housing need which cannot be met within the limited confines of Crawley. Since then MSDC have been seeking the agreement of Crawley Borough Council to waive this requirement until 2022.

In the meantime MSDC have stated that they are unable to advise Hassocks Parish Council of the number of new homes they require the Neighbourhood Plan to provide. As a result, they are not prepared to let the Plan go forward to Examination.

Chairman of Hassocks Parish Council, Ian Weir, said:-

“Our Plan and those of all the other Town and Parish Councils in Mid Sussex are direct casualties of the battle between the development world and MSDC. We have once again been frustrated in our efforts to ensure our village gets the development it wants and needs. Our Plan, which has been prepared after a huge amount of consultation, offers a balanced and sustainable way forward. It has now been further delayed, leaving the village once again at the mercy of developers rather than allowing localism to have its fair chance.

We are determined to complete our Neighbourhood Plan; this offers the best chance of protecting our environment. Unfortunately, we have no idea when the District Council will tell us how many new homes they expect Hassocks to accommodate. Until we hear from them we cannot decide how, and when, we should progress our Plan”.



Hassocks  Parish Council has expressed anger at the decision of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to over-ride the wishes of local people and to grant permission for the development of 97 homes  at Ham Fields, London Road, Hassocks.

Ham Fields form a vital part of the important countryside gap between Hassocks and Hurstpierpoint and the Parish Council and local residents have fought a three year battle, which included two Public Inquiries, to try to save it from development. The value of the site is also recognised in the Hassocks Neighbourhood Plan in which it is designated as Local Green Space and part of the countryside gap.

The Parish Council’s disappointment and frustration is increased by the fact that the Secretary of State has deliberately contradicted the Neighbourhood Plan which was formulated after huge public consultation, which showed that Ham Fields was the 14th least preferred site for development out of 15.

Chairman of Hassocks Parish Council Ian Weir said :-

“We feel very badly let down by this decision which makes a mockery of the efforts of our community to take charge of its own destiny. We have been exhorted by the Government and by Mid Sussex District Council to prepare a Plan which represents the wishes and needs of Hassocks and we have kept our side of the bargain. Neither the Government nor Mid Sussex have kept theirs. Although we received no support at all from Mid Sussex the Inspector at the first Public Inquiry supported us. We felt justice had been done. But the Developers, with huge resources at their disposal did not accept this and had a second go. This time they won.

We know we are not alone. On the one hand the Government is praising and promoting Neighbourhood Plans in its new Housing White Paper and on the other it is overturning them all over the place by allowing developments that are contrary to them.

There is one other issue which I feel I should mention and that is the local context here in Mid Sussex. The future of the Mid Sussex District Plan is now completely up in the air. Town and Parish Councils in Mid Sussex are almost certainly going to be told they must accept huge amounts of extra development whether they like it or not.

How is this going to be balanced against the much vaunted promise of the Government to let local people control their futures?

We now have to take a deep breath, take account of the issues to which I have referred and then decide whether or not we should continue with our Neighbourhood Plan “


Hassocks Parish Council To Play Leading Role In
Friars Oak Fields Appeal

As residents will know, last October Mid Sussex District Council decided to grant planning permission for 130 new houses on the fields to the east of the Friars Oak Pub in spite of strong opposition from local residents and from the Parish Council. This land is not allocated for development in the Parish Councils’ Draft Neighbourhood Plan which was issued after a very intensive public consultation. Residents were asked to state their preferences on possible sites all round the village and over 1000 comments were received. The Friars Oak site ranked 13th out of 15 in the order of public preference.

The decision of Mid Sussex District Council to over-ride the Draft Neighbourhood Plan was so serious that the Parish Council asked the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to over-rule the Mid Sussex Decision and to decide the application himself. The Council was given huge support by Nick Herbert our MP. The Secretary of State has now agreed to “call in” the application and will decide whether or not to grant planning permission after a Public Inquiry which will be held later this year.

In calling the Inquiry the Secretary of State has designated the Parish Council as a “Rule 6” Party, that is to say to play a major role in the proceedings. He also set an extremely demanding timetable for the submission of documents for the Inquiry. For this reason the Council held an Extra-ordinary Meeting on the 17th January when it was unanimously agreed to retain our consultants, Dowsett Mayhew to represent the Council.

Ian Weir, Chairman of the Parish Council, says “We are very pleased that the Secretary of State has been prepared to “call in” this application and to give the Parish Council a leading role at the Inquiry. We are determined to do our best to save our Neighbourhood Plan which balances the need for more housing and the protection of the amenities of our Village”

Hassocks Parish Council Statement Regarding Friars Oak Judicial Review

“The Parish Council has received a petition containing 664 signatures from concerned residents requesting it to initiate a Judicial Review into the decision made by Mid Sussex District Council to grant planning permission for the development of Friars Oak Fields. The Parish Council had previously joined in with a request by residents to have this decision called in by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

The Council’s Neighbourhood Plan Working Party considered this petition at its meeting on Thursday 24th November and agreed  to recommend to  Full Council on the 13th December that £5000 be allocated for the preparation of a brief for a barrister to test the likelihood of success of a Judicial Review of the District Council’s decision. The Working Party also recommended that work on this brief should commence as soon as possible rather than wait for the decision of the Secretary of State as to whether or not he will call in the application.”

Planning Approval – DM/15/0626
Land at Rear of Friars Oak, Hassocks

On Thursday 13 October 2016 – The District Planning Committee approved an outline Planning Application for 130 houses.

The Parish Council are seriously concerned that, after encouraging the Parish Council to produce a Neighbourhood Plan and that Plan now being in the hands of MSDC awaiting Examination, Officers and Councillors at MSDC have taken virtually no account the Plan.  The Neighbourhood Plan provides an objectively assessed housing need which has been met in the Plan through sustainable development and does not allocate this site for development.  Having allocated sufficient land to meet the assessed housing need The Plan further recognised the wishes of the Community and allocated this site as Local Green Space.

The Parish Council is seeking an urgent meeting with the Chief Executive of Mid Sussex District Council to review the effect this decision will have on the Neighbourhood Plan.

Further information will be available on our website in due course.

Hassocks Neighbourhood Plan
Regulation 16 Consultation

Mid Sussex District Council

Hassocks Neighbourhood Plan Consultation – Regulation 16 Publicity Period

Hassocks Parish Council has prepared a Neighbourhood Plan for the parish of Hassocks and submitted it to Mid Sussex District Council as the lead Local Planning Authority. The Plan seeks to retain the rural village character; it sets out the development principles and allocation of areas for future building and land use.

Mid Sussex District Council is publishing the submitted Hassocks Neighbourhood Plan. The publication will run for six weeks from 21st July 2016 until 8th September 2016.

The documents are available at  . Paper copies are available to view at the Mid Sussex District Council offices (address below) and at the Parish Office, Hassocks Parish Council, Adastra Park, Keymer Road, Hassocks, BN6 8QH. Opening hours 10am – 2pm Monday to Thursdays, 10am -12 noon Fridays.

Formal comments can be submitted online at  or by post to Planning Policy and Economic Development, Mid Sussex District Council, Oaklands Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 1SS.

All comments must be received by midnight on 8th September 2016. All comments received will be public information.

The District Council must appoint an appropriately qualified and independent Examiner and publicise the proposed Neighbourhood Plan and details of how to make representations. At the end of the publication period we will send all representations received at this stage to the examiner.

If you have any queries, please contact the Planning Policy and Economic Development Team on (01444 477391) or email