Radical plans to build 130 homes on golf course

A struggling golf club has put forward radical plans to build 130 houses on its site in a bid for survival.

Hassocks Golf Club SUS-160427-153823001
Hassocks Golf Club SUS-160427-153823001

Hassocks Golf Club says it has been running at a loss for many years and has only avoided closure because of substantial ongoing subsidies from its owner.

Club director of golf Mike Ovett said this week: “There are no longer any funds available to continue this subsidy.”

The club now plans to reduce the number of course holes from 18 to 9 to free up the land for the development.

An initial application for planning permission has been submitted to Mid Sussex District Council for up to 130 houses on the site, a replacement golf clubhouse, a new driving range and comprehensive landscaping works.

The proposals also make provision for a two-hectare site for a new primary school should it be required in the future.

Mike Ovett said the proposals had been put forward following extensive talks with the local community, the Hassocks Neighbourhood Plan Working Group,the parish, district and county councils.

He said: “Proceeds from the sale of the housing site will enable the survival of the existing golf club business as a remodelled 9-hole course with an all-weather driving range along with a new purpose built club house.

“The new club house will incorporate a bar, restaurant, pro-shop and multi-use function rooms that will be available for external functions.

“The proposal will safeguard the existing 21 jobs and will create new employment opportunities.

“Our planning application, together with all supporting documents and specialist reports will shortly be available for public viewing on the Mid-Sussex District Council website.”

He said that the proposals accorded with a housing allocation that is proposed in the draft Hassocks Neighbourhood Plan.

“This will make a significant contribution towards housing provision in Hassocks,” he added. “The housing will be a mixed tenure scheme Including open market homes for sale, starter homes and affordable homes for rent.

“House sizes will range from 2 to 5 bedroom homes. The masterplan for the site will create new areas of pubic open space, new footpath and cycle links, and new tree planting.”