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This blog is all about the residents of Hassocks and Hurstpierpoint trying to Protect Ham Fields. Ham Fields is the ancient name of the green space which remains between Hassocks and Hurstpierpoint, the so called Strategic Gap, also referred to as land to the west of London Road, Hassocks.

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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Letter to the Mid Sussex Times

One of the residents wrote to the Midi this week explaining how wretched and betrayed they feel:

I bought my then-derelict Victorian house 30 years 5 months ago, solely because of the wonderful location, with far reaching views across the fields at the back, and the sun setting on the horizon of distant woods to the far west .  The A283 is, of course,  a busy road with its awful fumes, litter and noise, but it was worth living along it (we are just ribbon development) because of what we had at the back.   For thirty years all attempts to build on it (by Wates) failed as the planners at MidSussex declared this countryside is protected by designation, local gap, and they did not want the villages of Hurst and Hassocks to coalesce. 

Now we are threatened with 98 dwellings, shown shoved up against our existing housing, with only 3 metres between our properties and blocks of high density rented flats and social housing.  The land is higher behind us,  so these flat's windows would peer down into our homes. 

The light will be blocked out, our views gone.  We'll be trapped by blocks of flats behind us and a smelly road in front.

I feel utterly betrayed by the loophole in the planning system that might let this development take place. I'm sixty one, have paid a mortgage for 25 years and hoped to die in my house.   I live alone and feel too old to face this awful threat to my home, and sick that I may be powerless to stop it.  Will all the countryside in Sussex that is not High Weald or National Park now become overrun by development? It is utterly outrageous and completely undemocratic that countryside preserved for so long by local planners will be ruined by the whim of Central Government who have never even been to Sussex.

This sentiment is felt by many of us, even those of us who are relative new comers at only 15 years...

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