A controversial bid to replace a golf clubhouse in Hassocks and build 130 new homes has been approved.
The outline application, which is part of the Hassocks Neighbourhood Plan, is to replace and reposition the clubhouse in London Road, with a new driving range and 9-hole course.
The plan received a unanimous vote yesterday (December 7) at a Mid Sussex Planning Committee meeting.
The 130 homes are proposed for the centre of the site, with 30 per cent affordable.
Cllr Bill Hatton from Hassocks Parish Council supported the bid and said it was ‘fully in-line with the neighbourhood plan’.
However, John Orchard, who has lived in Friars Oak Road for more than 20 years, said the development would be ‘visually intrusive’ and would have a ‘catastrophic impact on the area’.
He said: “This would mean more houses, more commuters, more overcrowded trains and more pollution in Hassocks.”
Mike Ovett, club director, said the club had the potential to ‘be the best in the region’.
He added: “The club has faced financial difficulty for a number of years and this is the only realistic way to continue the club.”
Denys Cole, club owner, said the club had suffered ‘significant financial loss’.
“The club has continued because of funds I have injected myself. It will have to close if the plan does not go ahead and this will mean loss of jobs.”
Cllr Gordon Marples recognised the need for housing but said there were golf clubs nearby ‘offering the same service’.
Cllr John Wilkinson did not support the application because he did not think a nine hole golf course would be ‘viable’.
Highways England also objected the the bid.
The plan also makes provision for a two-hectare site for a new primary school should it be required in the future.
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