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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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Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Letter to Nick Herbert MP

Today we wrote to Nick Herbert about the air quality situation in this area.

Dear Mr Herbert

I would like to inform you of an issue which I do not think is being addressed with any seriousness by local or national government.
I live on London Road, Hassocks, approximately 300 metres north from Stonepound Crossroads. The area is subject to a AQMA (Air Quality Management Area) which means that  air pollution has exceeded the World Health Organisations levels of what is considered acceptable to health.
I have studied the WHO's report on Air pollution for Rural areas and understand that the consequences of failing to address the levels of pollution do not sit well with the WHO and the European Commission, and charges will be brought against the Council for failing to act.
Mid Sussex Council's Environmental Planning Department have presented the facts and findings to the public via a presentation in the village of which I attended. My conclusions were that of the 27 items considered as an option to reduce the Pollution levels only 3 were considered feasible. The 3 options are - 1.   put signs up telling drivers to turn off their engines at the junction, 2. change the sequencing of the lights and 3. force the HGV's to take another route.
Any layman can see that these options are fruitless and I suggested that Traffic reduction is the only option. They informed me that the idea is considered acceptable but due to the constant housing development in and around the area Traffic reduction is not a reality that can be considered. I  see the option of more people using their Cycles., but the children cannot ride to the schools in the village because the traffic at the junction is so bad it would be unsafe to even mount a bike there.
I asked them if the Planning department would consider the Air pollution at the area when deciding on giving permission to developers? The disturbing impression I got was that each department has it's own targets to meet and therefore the holistic view of all departments is not really considered. I did contact the planning department at Mid Sussex and also the Highways Department at West Sussex and discussed the issue of Air pollution with each of them.
it seems due to the  governments "Localism" act department specific targets are to be met. The individuals I spoke with all agreed with me that development has to slow down as the infrastructure cannot cope.
It seems chaos has arrived at the local government levels due to your government's ideology on the  future plan of the rural communities
Getting back to the Air pollution both myself and my daughter suffer from respiratory issues, in fact my daughter was hospitalised for it and it has created issues with her development.
The other consideration therefore is the cost to the tax payer for the NHS to address the ever increasing issues of health due to air pollution.
Many thousands has been spent just on my daughter alone.
The health and safety of our children is paramount, and more concentrated effort is needed at a national level to realistically first of accept there is an issue and secondly deal with it.

I would appreciate your feedback as soon as you are able, as I intend taking the issue of air pollution  and the denial by national government that there is an issue to Europe and the WHO. Watching my daughter deteriorate to the extent that she had and then now understanding why, I feel it is my duty to raise the awareness of others.


  1. We had an immediate response from Nick's secretary asking what we would like Nick to do. We've asked that he ensures the local planning departments are aware and take into consideration the pollution and health issues.

  2. Dear sir
    As a resident at stonepound I would really like to discuss the issues you have raised as I have serious concerns over health. Is there any way to contact you?

  3. Please use the "Contact us" link in our menu bar, your details will be treated as confidential.


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