Friars Oak Fields: Plans for 130 new Hassocks homes turned down

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Plans to build 130 homes on Friars Oak Fields in Hassocks have been rejected by councillors much to the delight of residents.

Applications for neighbouring sites were discussed by members of Mid Sussex District Council’s planning committee on Thursday (November 29).

While approval was given to a request to add 35 homes to a 130-home development already cleared for Hassocks Golf Club, the Friars Oak application was refused.

Rydon Homes had been given permission to develop the site in October 2016, but the decision was called-in by the secretary of state and the application dismissed earlier this year.

The main concern had been an unmanned railway crossing, which was seen as unsafe.

This latest application included a pedestrian bridge over the railway line, although it would not have been accessible to people with mobility issues, cyclists or prams and buggies.

There had been stiff opposition to the plan.

As well as receiving dozens of letters of objection from residents, the council was asked to reject the plans by Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert and the Hassocks and Hurst Labour Party.

While officers had recommended approval, Anthony Watts-Williams (Con, Hurstpierpoint & Downs) called for the application to be refused.

There was applause from the public gallery when members voted 5-4 to do just that.