This is when IKEA's first Sussex store could open

With permission finally granted for IKEA's first Sussex store, attention can turn to when construction will be completed and how much disruption it could cause.

The New Monks Farm development in Lancing will be completed in phases, with construction milestones unlocking the next stage of the project. If all goes to plan, Sussex could have an IKEA by the end of 2021.

An artist's impression of the IKEA

An artist's impression of the IKEA

But that depends on several things, as the IKEA is part of a larger project involving 600 homes and major improvements to the surrounding road network.

For example, the 600 homes being constructed by housing company CALA Homes will start with an initial build of 249 properties.

A spokesman for Brighton and Hove Albion - one of the major partners in developer The Community Stadium Ltd - has confirmed CALA will begin construction of its show areas in March, which means the first homes will be ready for occupation 'later this year'.

That will get the ball rolling towards the next stages of development.

The section 106 agreement sets out that no more than 60 of these first homes can be occupied until improvements have been made to the Grinstead Lane approach to the A27 in Lancing.

Improvements to the A27 are key to the next stage of the development, but these cannot begin until residents of the Withy Patch gypsy and traveller site are relocated to a new larger site on the outskirts of New Monks Farm.

The Brighton and Hove Albion spokesman said the A27 works - which will include the construction of a new roundabout to replace the Sussex Pad traffic lights - are scheduled to start at the end of 2020 and will be completed by the end of 2021.

That means motorists will face at least 12 months of travel disruption from roadworks at the already congested trunk road. In theory, the renovations should help to ease traffic congestion in the long run, but the construction phase is sure to pose challenges, particularly during rush hour.

It is also likely to place extra strain on surrounding roads, such as the seafront A259 and connecting roads like Grinstead Lane through Lancing.

The section 106 agreement also said no more than 249 dwellings can be occupied, nor the IKEA superstore, until these A27 works are completed.

If the 'end of 2021' deadline is hit, that means Lancing could see its IKEA open at around the same time, if the actual building has been finished.

So, if all deadlines are met, this is the timeline for construction:

March 2020 - CALA Homes commence construction of show areas

Later this year - First homes ready for occupation, but no more than 60 until Grinstead Lane is improved and no more than 249 until A27 work is completed

End of this year - Work begins on improvements to the A27, including a new roundabout, with the project expected to take around a year

End of 2021 - IKEA can open its superstore and the second tranche of homes (250+) can be occupied

Read more here:

New Monks Farm: Readers react as IKEA superstore and 600 homes given green light
New Monks Farm: Pictures show work underway on potential site of IKEA and 600 homes
IKEA developers urged to think of children’s futures in New Monks Farm plans
All you need to know about the IKEA decision meeting