Council To Dump Another 500 Homes On Hassocks As Merger With Burgess Hill Gets Even Closer
3rd October 2017| Peter Chapman
There's more pain for Hassocks and its residents as MSDC are to dump an extra 500 new homes in the village as the merger with Burgess Hill gets even closer.
How will Hassocks cope? That was the question people were asking at the end of the meeting of the full District Council on Wednesday evening (September 27th)
With the District Plan still not in place, MSDC are required to get their 5 year land supply document finalised in order for the inspector to sign it off.
As your reporter understands it, although there are plenty of strategic developments lined up over the 20 year period of the plan to meet the increased requirement or circa 17,500 new homes,
none of the developers want to be the ones to go first. For example, the Burgess Hill Northern Arc with the 4,000+ homes isn't expected to be completed until the back end of the district plan period.
Conveniently, it means that Mid Sussex District Council had to invite other parties with significant land holdings to come forward to become strategic housing developments on the condition they could get building within the first five years of the District Plan period.
Magically, up pops a plan for 500 new homes north of Clayton Mills in Hassocks, which the council voted to adopt
last Wednesday (September 27th)
Regular readers will know that Hassocks is already being hit with lots of new housing:
97 homes north west of Stone Pound Crossroads (Ham Fields)
130 homes - Friars Oak Fields
130 homes - Hassocks Golf Club
The site at Clayton Millls already had 250 homes built on it between 2007-12.
Only one councillor didn't vote for the proposal, and that was Hassocks' Liberal Democrat representative Sue Hatton. Here's what she said at the meeting:
Hassocks' Conservative Councillor Gordon Marples also spoke on the issue, but seemed happy enough to have Hassocks thrown under the bus and not push for other identified areas in the district to be explored first. Here's what he said at the meeting:
The fields north of Clayton Mills which will be developed for 500 homes.
How Will The Village Cope?
With all this recent and future housing growth in the village, the infrastructure has not grown with it. The local infant and primary schools are fully subscribed with parents already having to send their children to schools in nearby Hurstpierpoint, Ditchling and even Burgess Hill.
Stonepound Crossroads is one of the heaviest polluted areas in the county - the situation is only going to get worse when car movements from an extra 800+ homes are added to the equation over the next few years.
The open railway crossing was a big safety fear for the Friars Oak fields application for 130 homes, and this same crossing will be used by children occupying the 500 homes in the proposed new development north of Clayton Mills too.
The only road into and out of the develpment will be via Ockley Lane - it's not idea!
Will Hassocks Be A Village Anymore?
Hassocks already has circa 3,500 properties in the village with a population of well over 7,500 people. With 800 new homes to come, it's verging on becoming a town... unless it accepts its fate and becomes a borough of Burgess Hill!
There's so much more that can be written on this latest District Plan saga, but it concerns Hassocks and not Burgess Hill, so that's your lot for now!
Spread the word! The Hassocks and Burgess Hill merger is getting even closer!
Got an opinion on this story? Leave a comment below.....
What do you think of Hassocks having to take a huge chunk of additional housing?