Lancing Parish Council unanimously rejects updated proposal for New Monks Farm

An artist's impression of how the new IKEA in Lancing could look SUS-170130-152954001
An artist's impression of how the new IKEA in Lancing could look SUS-170130-152954001

Lancing parish councillors voted unanimously against the proposed development at New Monks Farm, which includes an IKEA superstore and 600 new homes, at an ‘extraordinary meeting’ of the council on Wednesday (June 20).

The £150 million hybrid planning application put forward by New Monks Farm Development – a subsidiary of Brighton and Hove Albion FC – includes a new roundabout on the A27, a country park, a school and a community hub.

The meeting followed recent amendments to the proposal, including revised IKEA drawings to include a ‘green roof’, changes to the north elevation, improvements to the River Adur footpath and revised residential drawings.

Having submitted a list of 15 objections to plans in September, 2017, councillors were left frustrated that none of the amendments addressed these initial concerns, which included traffic and flooding fears.

Councillors agreed to add objections to the proposal, highlighting the negative impact on local businesses due to increased congestion, increases to home insurance caused by extra strain on the flood plain and frustration at the timing of the full planning committee meeting.

A date of Wednesday, July 18, has been set for Adur council’s planning committee to discuss the proposal.

Councillor Mick Clark said: “The decision date is premature and we haven’t been given enough information to make an informed decision. We are only making half a decision.”

Several attendees pointed to the fact they were still awaiting responses to consultations.

Familiar concerns were raised that the local infrastructure would not be able to cope with the influx of traffic and extra demands on schools, hospitals and other services.

Councillor Gina Scotting said: “We can’t keep adding to a place that can’t already cope. We haven’t got the infrastructure to support it.”

Local businesses would be at risk from the congestion, said councillor Emma Purnell, but suggested new residents could bring in more doctors and actually create more jobs.

She also clashed with Mr Clark by suggesting more houses could make housing more affordable in the area – an idea rejected by Mr Clark, who said the plan was ‘in the wrong place at the wrong time’.

Although opposed to the development, councillor Danny Jackson said the council may have to view the development as an opportunity to be grasped and questioned how long the area could continue to reject investment.

Residents can still comment on the planning application, which can be viewed in full on Adur District Council’s website under reference number AWDM/0961/17.

The meeting of Adur planning committee is scheduled for 7pm on Wednesday, July 18 at the Sir Robert Woodard Academy in Upper Boundstone Lane.

Adur District Council said there will be up to 500 seats available on the night.

The public notice on the meeting and information about how the public can speak on the night will be published on the council website on Friday, June 22, a spokesman said.