Campaigners opposed to Lancing IKEA development urge Government minister to intervene

An aerial shot showing New Monks Farm. Supplied by Geoff Patmore
An aerial shot showing New Monks Farm. Supplied by Geoff Patmore

Plans for 600 homes and an IKEA set to be determined by Adur councillors next week should instead be considered by a Government minister, campaigners have requested.

The Campaign for Rural England (CPRE), which objects to development of Lancing’s New Monks Farm, has formally requested the application be ‘called-in’ for consideration by the Secretary of State.

Residents protested against the plans in a rally in May

Residents protested against the plans in a rally in May

In addition the scheme for the land, west of Shoreham Airport, CPRE believes a separate application for commercial space at the airport should also be called-in.

Read more: The day IKEA announced it hoped to open in Lancing

A letter requesting the call-in was sent to the Planning Casework Unit today (Wednesday, July 11).

If the plans were to be called-in, councillors would not have the final say on the development, with a Government inspector likely to chair a public inquiry.

CPRE Sussex chairman David Johnson said: “We believe that the two applications should be considered in combination due to the cumulative impacts, particularly in terms of the impact on the A27 trunk road (where improvements are currently

being considered by Highways England) and the impact of flooding and drainage (the sites are on the tidal flood plain of the River Adur).”

Read more: How IKEA began

Mr Johnson’s seven-page letter details various examples where he believed the plans contravened local and national planning policies.

Concerns include the impact on the setting of the South Downs National Park, flooding and traffic.

The letter continued: “These applications have prompted considerable local debate and public concern, particularly in terms of the impact on the strategic gap between Lancing and Shoreham; flood risk; the A27 trunk road; and the local landscape and heritage.”

Yesterday, Adur District Council published a report detailing the recommendation of its planning officers.

Read more: Why technicalities will see Lancing councillor miss meeting

Admitting the case was ‘finely balanced’, officers recommended the plans for approval, subject to completion of a legal agreement and the Secretary of State confirming that he does not wish to ‘call in’ the application. Click here for the full story.

The New Monks Farm project is being led by a subsidiary company of Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club.

Speaking after the report was published, a spokesman said: “We are very pleased that the council officer’s report has recommended that the planning committee approve the plans for the development at New Monks Farm.

“We have been working closely with the local authorities and statutory bodies to ensure the plans met the necessary criteria and to address any concerns or issues which have arisen.

“We are now hopeful that Adur District Council will accept their officers’ recommendation and will approve the planning application for the development.”

Councillors will meet on Wednesday at the Sir Robert Woodard Academy, in Upper Boundstone Lane, Lancing, from 7pm.

Read more: MP pens letter to planning committee ahead of crunch meeting