MP urges council to reject Hassocks housing bid

Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert
Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert

Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert has written to Mid Sussex District Council urging its planning committee to reject an application for 130 new Hassocks homes.

In a letter to the chief executive this week, Mr Herbert said the council ‘should not be rewarding a speculative developer with planning permission on a site which does not sit in an emerging neighbourhood plan and is pre-empting the council’s own review’.

He added: “I believe that the council should support the neighbourhood planning process and resist speculative applications by developers who should be required to follow due process.

“The Government has reiterated the importance of neighbourhood planning, and measures in the updated National Planning Policy Framework are intended to prevent emerging neighbourhood plans from being undermined from speculative development.

READ MORE: Call on council to reject application for 130 new homes in Hassocks

“Public support for Hassocks’ neighbourhood plan will be further eroded if this is once again pre-empted by a major development.”

Rydon Homes has submitted its second application to build the 130 homes on greenfield land at Friars Oak Fields.

Its first application was approved by the district council in 2016, but was subsequently ‘called in’ by the Secretary of State at Mr Herbert’s request. It was then refused planning permission.

The fresh application by Rydon Homes includes a footbridge crossing over the railway line. The absence of a safe crossing over the railway line was one of the original reasons for refusal.

The planning application for the homes is due to be considered by the district council at a planning committee meeting tomorrow (November 29).