You can see the planning application by searching 'AWDM/0961/17' here: https://planning.adur-worthing.gov.uk/online-applications/
I have consistently said that I think these plans represent a massive overdevelopment of the area which will be detrimental to local residents, my constituents. My main areas of objection are as follows.
Notwithstanding the need nationally to build more homes whilst some degree of housebuilding is possible and indeed desirable on this site 600 units is too high a number. There is an insufficient allocation of genuinely ‘affordable’ housing especially affordable to rent. The sewage system in Lancing is already under huge pressure and subject to regular breakdowns including numerous instances of raw sewage polluting local roads and gardens over recent years. The arrangements to link into the existing drainage network appear wholly inadequate.
The area is a flood plain with a minimal fall for surface water to drain away which will only be made worse by concreting over a large part of land where water can currently soak away. Again a great number of residents especially around Manor Way/Manor Close have been subject to serious flooding in recent years. The developers have yet to demonstrate that the pumping solution they are putting forward deal with the existing problem let alone the flood threat to new build.
The new school proposed is right on a highly polluted stretch of the A27 which is surely a completely inappropriate place to site a school with young pupils. Recent testing by the local environment group AREA have confirmed that in certain spots air quality levels are already above Government safety thresholds.
For the development to be acceptable to local people it needs to be able to demonstrate a net benefit to existing residents. Whilst there would be some temporary additional employment opportunities during the construction phase and a limited area of park space would be given over to local residents’ use the ‘payback’ to the local community would be limited. The major increase in jobs promised by the IKEA development would be predominantly low skilled jobs and unemployment levels in the area are sufficiently low that inevitably staff would have to be brought in from outside the district adding to traffic pressures.
Overall the inclusion of IKEA is the most negative part of the plans threatening its overall sustainability. Of all large retail outlets the nature of IKEA requires more customers travelling by car than just about any other retailer meaning huge pressure of the A27. A figure of 2 million customer journeys a year has been mentioned although only comparisons with the Cardiff branch of IKEA have been provided despite this being in a very different location to Lancing. The intention is to open IKEA by 2019 several years before any upgrade work to the A27 is likely to have been started and that work is currently not agreed or designed and its effectiveness therefore completely unknown. The already congested A27 will therefore be required to take on additional IKEA customers, homeowners accessing their homes, school run car journeys and other users of the park and community hub which may include a GP surgery.
Access for all this traffic, as well as accessing the Airport and Ricardo from the north will be via a single road facilitated by a single roundabout with traffic lights – clearly a ‘magic roundabout.’ In addition the users of Coombes Road, including the many cars accessing Lancing College, a major employer in the area occupying a space much larger than New Monks Farm, will now have to take a long detour to gain access. The excuse that IKEA does not open until 10am after peak time ignores the fact that congestion happens intermittently throughout each day now and the store will remain open until 10pm and all weekends.
This is a recipe for complete gridlock on the A27 and it is madness that any substantial development should go ahead adjacent to this road until and unless substantial and workable improvements have gone ahead. This is a case of absolutely ‘putting the cart before the horse.’
I do not believe that other alternatives to IKEA could not be fund to occupy that space which would not involve so many customer journeys by car. For example Adur has a severe shortage of business space and many businesses keen to expand and stay in the area. Lancing Business Park is the second largest business park in West Sussex, employs some 3200 people and is currently about 99% occupied. There are many new and expanding businesses who would be attracted to a new high-tech business park on the New Monks Farm site say, involving many more higher skilled jobs which is what the Government, Councils, LEP and local businesses working closely with schools are all trying to achieve. Taking this site out of circulation for such use reduces the possibilities for attracting more premium businesses to oy area and indeed the added traffic congestion is likely to act as a further deterrent to existing ones expanding or staying in the area.
Overall therefore I think these plans are excessive and unsustainable and if passed in anything like their current form would seriously undermine the living conditions for a great many of my constituents, visitors to and investors in the area.
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