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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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Sunday, 17 November 2013

Sample objection

One of our supporters posted the following objection and asked for it to be shared as an example of the approach you might adopt.

"The area of land proposed is not considered acceptable for any development, there are many real issues which should be considered.
The land has a historic background with  archaeological evidence of a Roman road running through the north field. I personally have found artefacts in an around my garden including a remnants of a roman road. therefore a full archaeological survey should be carried out.
There are also historic hedgerows and trees some which have protection orders. The proposal shows that the road through the site will run through the hedgerow to join the 2 fields. it should be noted that on the historic maps the hedgerow is shown to run the full length of the fields. this used to be the case until the present owner and the developers whilst surveying the land cut down and destroyed it so as to enable the route of the road for the development. This must be considered as being a criminal act and action taken against the developer and owner.

The environmental impact of the build must be considered as there is proven evidence of various protected species including Great Crested Newts, Barn Owls, Badgers, bats, door mice and field mice. The area also has flora and fauna which is protected and is ancient in origin.
The land is quite clearly visible from the peaks of the South Downs and will in fact reduce the wonderful views of the SDNP.
Having lived adjacent to the land for the last 14 years I and my family and others who visit are subject to the the most wonderful views and some brilliant sunsets. These are the views that we paid extra for when we made the decision to move in, and in what way are we to receive compensation for the loss of this? Also the proposal shows no access to the land as some of our neighbours have prescriptive access to the land.

The other environmental issue involves the Air Pollution. Stonepound Junction which is only yards from the proposed development is subject to an Air Quality Action Plan. This AQAP has been presented to DEFRA and as yet to be accepted as fit enough to deal with the air quality in the area. The proposals presented to DEFRA are inadequate and will in no way prove to lower the levels of Nitrogen dioxide. It must also be noted that the World Health Organisation have recently presented scientific evidence that the real pollutant is PM 2.5 which was initially monitored in 2003/4 and found to be above WHO acceptable levels.
Therefore the rise in traffic due to the proposed development would in no way help to reduce any type of pollutants at this already highly polluted area.
It must be noted that PM 2.5 has been proven to have been the cause of up to 29,000 deaths in this country and also  230000 in Europe. I personally suffer from a respiratory disease and have a real understanding of its effects.

The proposal will also add over 200 to 300 more vehicles to the already high traffic numbers. The area is already mis-managed by the WSDC Traffic department due to the lack of consideration of other recently agreed developments. A professional execution of traffic modelling should be carried out immediately and then after the agreed new build at College Lane.
Residents of this new site will be heading along Hurst Road and through Stonepound Junction to park at the already congested Hassocks Station causing higher levels of traffic and also pollution. Pollution from vehicles are higher when shorter journeys are carried of which these vehicles will.

The proposed development also will significantly lower the strategic Gap between the villages of Hassocks and Hurstpierpoint.  This gap has been already acknowledged as being important in the proposed District Plan. The concept of a village will be reduced if any further erosion of the gap and the area will become an extension of Burgess Hill.
The Village of Hassocks has long been acknowledged as the "Gateway to the South Downs". There will be no countryside left for the "weekenders" from London to escape to, and Hassocks is the only place they will route through to get into the south downs.

Gleeson's the developers mention the economic benefits of more housing.  The area falls into the "Gatwick Diamond" And there seems to be a belief that more housing is required due to the supposed growth of Gatwick Airport. The reality is that Gatwick airport is in fact in decline and passenger levels are lower than ever.
There are no new flights and therefore no new jobs with a some of the airlines reducing employee numbers.
The developers plan for the house design is not really compatible with a traditional Sussex Design. I am aware that the recently Completed Clayton Mills Development failed to honour the original design brief and the builders used the most cost effective materials and design rather than fitting in with the local design. It is accepted that any outline plan put forward by the developers will always be more compatible in it's initial design and that the reality of the build is little like the original.

Also although there is proposal is for 93 houses  in this plan the developers have purchased controlling rights on a larger piece of adjacent land west of the proposed development. There would only be one intention in this purchase and that would to petition for a further build which would at least double the size of the this proposal. This would mean at least 200 properties over all and a further erosion of the Strategic Gap.

The Villages of Hassocks and Hurstpierpoint have been subjected to significant housing development and with the associated population rise has come the issue of the local infrastructures failure to cope. My family has personally been affected by this failure. My daughter who requires extra assistance in her development at school was hoping to follow her brother into the village school. When we approached the head she was concerned that due to the significant rise in pupil numbers they may not be able to help her as required. Therefore we were forced to approach another school in an other village who also despite being subject to their own rise in pupil numbers were more confident of their assistance. All we can hope is that she will not be failed.

Also due to my daughters health issues which were caused by a respiratory illness and i think due to the Traffic and air pollution in the area. The local health centre failed to be treat her. Every time we visited the health centre to get treatment (when we could get an appointment) she was seen by a different GP as we would have to go what ever GP was available and at what ever location.
This caused her illness to be mis-diagnosed and therefore the illness caused further health issues.

I would hope that although some of my concerns are personal in nature that my objections are made with complete knowledge of the reality of the governments "localism Act"
Despite this act giving the developers presumption in favour rights. The heart of the localism act is about handing power back to the communities. If this is true and the inspectorate truly understand the nature of the act then this proposed development should be considered in opposition to this act."

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