From sheep farming to 'infills'
Originally an area of sheep farming
Mile Oak, the northern part of the parish of Portslade, was originally an area of sheep down, corn and market gardens, with small groups of farm buildings. During the early 20th century, scattered suburban housing started to creep up the valley, along with a racehorse training ground and a firing range!
Demolition of Copperas Gap
Major changes came in the 1960’s when the local authority started the demolition of the old Copperas Gap dockside community at Portslade by Sea. People were rehoused in the only open area available, high in the South Downs beyond Portslade old village. This area was already seeing considerable development of private housing , much of it in the form of bungalows.
The construction of the Brighton by-pass in the late 1980’s formed a physical barrier which effectively blocked off Mile Oak from access to the Downs. This limit to growth means that later housing has been in the form of denser infill schemes, such as Fox Way and Hamilton Close The area has little in the way of direct employment. It is therefore a commuter suburb of the city, but with a high proportion of self-employed tradespeople.