IKEA developers urged to think of children’s futures in New Monks Farm plans

Protest outside New Monks Farm IKEA meeting SUS-180410-114019001
Protest outside New Monks Farm IKEA meeting SUS-180410-114019001

West Sussex County Council has been urged to scrap plans to build 600 new homes on the site of New Monks Farm.

Plans for an extensive housing development and IKEA superstore were approved in October, with many of the houses to be built on land occupied by the Withy Patch Gypsy and Travellers site, which is set to be sold.

As part of the approval process, developer New Monks Farm Development (NMFD) was told it must make a ‘significant contribution’ to education provision, but critics fear the county council could waive the condition.

Labour councillors have urged the county council not to sell Withy Patch, effectively stopping the development, or to at least accept the needs of children and their education ‘must come first’.

Adur councillor Cat Arnold said if the development goes ahead, NMFD must be made to honour a financial land contribution towards education.

She said: “These funds must be obtained by WSCC in order to fulfil the additional school pressure arising from their 600-dwelling development. Failing to do so would be morally irresponsible.”

A motion to be tabled at a full county council meeting tomorrow will argue uncertainty over the development is causing ‘anger and stress’ to locals and urge county councillors to either scrap the Withy Patch sale or enforce the education provision conditions.

It says developing the land would be ‘entirely at odds’ with a recently agreed climate action pledge and increase flooding risk, traffic on the A27 and pollution.

Residents of the Withy Patch site would also have to be moved to the edge of the development, the motion argues, living ‘on the edge of a building site with all the dust, noise and disruption’ that entails.

Should residents of the site object to the sale of the land, the county council should honour those wishes, the motion states.