There has been excitement throughout Sussex as IKEA confirmed plans for a store in Lancing – but there are still hurdles to overcome before it is a reality.
The Swedish furniture chain announced this morning that it would submit a planning application to build a store in New Monks Farm in Lancing next month. Full story here.
There has been a lot of hype and everyone is getting all excited, but it isn’t there yetBill Freeman
New Monks Farm is allocated for homes and commercial space in Adur District Council’s local plan, which will be scrutinised by a government inspector next week.
If the inspector does not approve the plans, then the IKEA bid will be easier to turn down.
And if they are approved, the Ikea planning application will still need to be approved by Adur District Council.
If it gets past these hurdles, then the store is likely to be completed in 2019.
Lancing Parish Councillor and resident Geoff Patmore has vocally opposed the Adur Local Plan. He said: “No decision has been made yet with regard to the much delayed, emerging Adur Local Plan.
“We await the government inspector’s decision; I hope with their infinite wisdom the decision will be the right one.”
Bill Freeman, chairman of Adur Floodwatch, was also outspoken against the local plan.
He said: “There has been a lot of hype and everyone is getting all excited, but it isn’t there yet. IKEA in Lancing would be ‘woopie’ but there are lots of levels to look at: A27 issues, air pollution and flood risks.”
“IKEA is great and has lovely products and all that. Most people have high regard for the company and what it does but there are still issues.”
If Ikea gets built, the landowners said they will build a pumping station to counter any flooding risks.
But Mr Freeman remained skeptical. He said: “They have to prove it works; I have yet to see proof and get reassurance that what they are planning will protect the properties in that site and the area around it that have drainage issues and sewer issues. We will have to wait and see.”
He also cast doubt over the reliability of the data currently being gathered by the landowners about the flood risk.
Mr Freeman believed the data was gathered last year, when rainfall was below average for the area.
The proposed £150million development, led by Brighton and Hove Albion, could create 875 jobs and bring £11.5million annually to the area.
What do you think of the plans? Click here to vote.
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