How often you hear people moan about the slowness of the Council, and their reluctance to act. Never renowned for being quick with anything, you'd think they'd take their time over where to site a new development for 500 houses. That's the size of a reasonable sized village, so needs some time devoted to getting it right
Gleeson Homes, promoter for the site labelled "Land North of Clayton Mills" first approached MSDC in July. Gleeson Homes won't even build any houses - they buy the plot, subject to planning, then offer it out to the highest bidder
On September 27th Mid Sussex District Council adopted the development in to its District Plan. That means subject to agreement from the Planning Inspector dealing with their District Plan submission, this plan will be adopted exactly as it is now written.
That means a future planning application WILL be approved, because it has the full backing of the District Plan
How much consideration, detailed thought, diligence and professional attention to detail can have been brought in to play in just two months ?
The council voted on these proposals after just one whole council meeting on the matter, based on reports prepared by its officers. In the extremely short time available, none of the councillors will have been able to fully appraise themselves of all the very important considerations that should have been taken in to account.
Surely a council's first duty is to the communities it represents ?
Surely individual councillors should be listening to, discussing such important matters with their ward members ?
Surely a council should be reaching decisions based on what is best for each community ?
This council appears to have taken a massive decision based only on what will get it past the finishing post for its District Plan, with absolute disregard for the community on which it is seeking to foist an unsustainable development, arrived at through a very dangerously hurried process.
This plan is a Stitch-Up by MSDC on the people of Hassocks.
They were faced with lots of small developments to make up numbers or one big whopper. Going for the one means less work for the council, and no upset to the 'Chocolate Box' villages of Mid Sussex.
What a good question. Our advice: ask them. They are supposed to represent you, they should want to put this community's best interests at heart, so it would be nice to find out.
Well for starters we can ask MSDC to explain the speed of their actions, the processes undertaken by the council's officers, and for individual councillors to explain their thinking that they had adequately considered the deep and eternal consequences on the local community in Hassocks with the decision they took so quickly and with so little deliberation.
The councillors have been impressive only in their ability to ignore all sensibility in their dash to make this huge decision. It comes across as supreme arrogance - having taken only two months to start considering the matter, the meeting that decided forever the fate of Hassocks lasted only 1 hour and 18 minutes, and included 13 other items on the agenda!
That's how much your District Council thinks of this community when deciding to dump 500 houses on us.
Further ideas are on the What to do Next page, which will be further added to over the next few weeks, during the very short MSDC consultation period.
Sue Hatton has criticised Mid Sussex District Council for rushing this matter and reaching the wrong decision.
She represents Hassocks ward
Contact her at:
Sue Hatton put the considerations of those she represents Centre Stage, and thankfully brought the matter to the attention of the local press
Gordon Marples is a former leader of MSDC.
He represents Hassocks ward and voted in favour of the building of 500 houses which will alter forever the nature and size of Hassocks
contact him at:
One must question how much Gordon Marples considered closely the interests of the members of his ward when voting on the MSDC plan
Michelle Binks represents Hassocks ward and voted in favour of adopting this scheme to build 500 houses, the equivalent of a modest village, on the 'former strategic gap' between Hassocks and Burgess Hill.
contact her at:
07505 123 149
It is difficult to understand how Michelle Binks represented the members of her ward when she voted to support the extremely rushed MSDC plan