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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.

Please feel free to e-mail us protecthamfields@gmail.com or use the Contact us form.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Object to the Planning Application

You must object before 13 December 2013 otherwise your objection will not be considered.

You can send your objection by e-mail to:


make sure you include the application reference number 13/03818/OUT.

You can find the application by following this link:

Mid Sussex Planning Register

The application reference number is 13/03818/OUT, but the link should take you straight there.  If you go to the comments tab you can leave your comments there.

You can also send your comments by letter to

Mid Sussex District Council
Oaklands Road
Haywards Heath
RH16 1SS

again you must quote the application reference number 13/03818/OUT.

It is absolutely essential that we achieve as many unique objections as possible, we may repeat what each other say but we must say it in our own words.  Everybody can object, you, your partner, your parents, your children, your Linkedin contacts, your Faceboook Friends - please make sure everybody you know objects.

The Council make some recommendations as to the sort of thing you should consider in your objection:

-The effect of the proposed development on the appearance of the area;
-The quality of the design;
-Significant overbearing impact and loss of outlook;
-The economic benefits of the proposal;
-Highway safety issues;
-Loss of important trees;
-Intrusion into the countryside;
-Significantly increased noise and disturbance;

They also caution that these should not include:

-Loss of view;
-Loss of property value;
-Loss of trade to a competitor;
-Boundary and other disputes with a neighbour;
-Moral, religious issues.

You may want to consider or use the following points in your objection:


The design is particularly light on detail and specifically absent of a clear explanation on site access and the impact that this will have on the congestion experienced in London Road.  In the mornings and evenings delays of over 20 minutes are not uncommon.  Stonepound Crossroads is already recognised as one of the most polluted junctions in Sussex.  The only conceivable point of access is dangerously close to Stonepound Crossroads and is directly next to the intersection with Stanford Avenue and the entrance/exit to the petrol station.

No consideration is given to the existing residents of London Road and the design places new dwellings on the boundaries of existing properties which is overbearing and impinges on their right to light.

The design takes no consideration of the prescriptive easements which have been awarded to several residents.

The design seems to disregard the Tree Preservation Order in respect of 20 individual trees.

The design does not explain that the parcel of land encompasses another field to the west of the planned area of approximately the same area, which presumably will become the subject of a further or modified later application.

Strategic Gap

In every derivation of plan issued by Parish and District Councils the site has been defined as the Strategic Gap between Hassocks and Hurstpierpoint.  This gap was already narrow at 0.9km between the rear gardens of College Lane, Hurstpierpoint and the rear gardens of London Road, Hassocks before approval for a 100 dwelling development at College Lane was granted which will reduce that gap, combined with this proposal there will no longer be a Strategic Gap.

The site is outside the built up area of Hassocks and within a local and strategic gap and is outside the Neighbourhood Plan Area for Hassocks, the site is also within the Countryside Area of Development Restraint (CADR) as defined in the Mid Sussex Local Plan (MSLP).  As such the proposal is contrary to the Mid Sussex Development Plan (MSDP).  In the Housing Supply Plan (published in March 2013) the site was assessed (site reference 286(HA/19) and deemed to be unsuitable on the following grounds:

  • Open to landscape issues
  • Long range views
  • Absence of defensible boundaries
  • Will set a precedence for further development and contribute further to the coalescence Hassocks and Hurstpierpoint, proposal conflicts with C3 of the MSLP.
Air Quality

The site is immediately adjacent to the Air Quality Management Area of Stonepound Crossroads which already has Nitrogen Dioxide levels in excess of World Health Organisation permitted levels and dangerously high levels of particulate matter.  Regardless of any statements made by the developer building more dwellings will lead to more cars, more congestion and more pollution.

Traffic Volumes

If you build more dwellings there will be more cars and more congestion as there is no capacity to increase the size of the road.  Other north/south routes are no less problematic, Ditchling, College Lane (already subject of a South Mid Sussex CLC notice) and Cuckfield Road.

Road Traffic and Pedestrian Safety

More traffic increases the potential for fatal accidents involving motorists and pedestrians alike.  There is no safe route from this site to the schools or village.  There are no plans for additional pedestrian crossings.

Historic Importance

  • The site is well documented as being part of the Manor of Wickham, the central hedgerow comprising oak trees are several hundred years old and is detailed in a survey dating to 1732 and also the Domesday Book (1086) (http://www.jrnorris.co.uk/Wickhammanor.html).
  • The site is adjacent to a Saxon settlement and a desktop archaeological survey is woefully inadequate when so much more could be uncovered
  • Many residents have made their own Roman and Saxon finds. 
Inadequacy of Existing and Planned Infrastructure

This is a small community which is already bursting at the seams.  We wait weeks for doctors appointments, we might as well pull our own teeth out, the police presence is practically none existent, the fire station is miles and miles away, the schools are only just building classrooms for the children who live here now, siblings cannot go to the same school and some children cannot even go to the school in the village where they live and must get the train to another town.  How will we accommodate the new house for which planning permission is already granted never mind this application.

Other points to consider

the application will:
  • seriously and permanently harm the character of the countryside and adversely affect local tourism which this character attracts;
  • be contrary to and prejudicial to the Hassocks Neighbourhood Plan;
  • have an adverse impact on the setting of the National Park and change the settlement pattern of the area;
  • be a further loss of landscape for local residents to enjoy whilst using the public footpath which intersects the land affording views of quintessential English downland countryside;
  • increase drainage problems as the water table is already at surface level during much of the year
  • overshadow residents and cause a loss of sunlight;
  • be detrimental to the other natural residents of the agricultural area barn owls, bats, foxes, badgers, bees, kestrels, all of which are regularly seen;
  • be detrimental to the great crested newts on site
  • be detrimental to the public at large who have a long history of using the area as common land dating back more than 250 years;
  • be a further loss of agricultural land;

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