Lancing community needs to take back control to prevent village demise

This letter has been prompted by two things I read in The Herald last week: the steady demise of Lancing village centre and the proposal for setting up a community land trust (CLT) to provide community-led affordable housing.

Why doesn’t Lancing Parish Council – with it’s many UKIP and ex-UKIP councillors – ‘take back control’ by setting up a community land trust?

Vacant units in North Road, Lancing

Vacant units in North Road, Lancing

Community land trusts can be involved with setting up a whole range of community facilities apart from affordable housing.

In other areas they have set up credit unions – a solution to there being no banks – community shops, small office/workshop space for businesses, swimming pools, in other words whatever will benefit and enhance the civic life of a community.

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Angmering CLT was set up in 2013 and is currently forming itself into a community benefit society. Angmering Parish Council is sponsoring the CLT and guiding its formation.

Planning controls under this Government are a farce and as one of the Tory councillors told me last year, the council doesn’t have any power to stop a change of business from a bank to a fast food outlet.

And I’m not sure what Adur District Council has done to make Lancing centre more successful as they claim.

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The market has a very poor footfall in my experience and a few business-sponsored flower planters is insufficient reason for visitors to come to Lancing. Anyway, Tory-imposed cuts mean there is no budget.

As for IKEA increasing footfall to the village centre, there is zero evidence for this.

IKEA is a destination in itself. It will have a café, garden and food items as well as furniture and carpets, taking away business from small, independent traders.

|Read more - Lancing village centre could end up looking like a wasteland

The majority will travel to IKEA by car. There is no easy route for cars from New Monks Farm to Lancing village without navigating the A27, which we all know will be gridlocked. Anyway, what would they come for?

Our district council has little power to change the demise of Lancing village centre but people can take back control in a democratic way. Let’s not sit back and accept things being done to us.

I say to Lancing Parish Council, use your powers and say: lets change the situation for the better.

Jo Crockett

Ring Road, North Lancing

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