THOUSANDS of new homes are needed on greenfield sites if Adur is to flourish, according to the district council.
Public consultation is about to open on the Adur draft local plan, which sets out where major development should take place over the next 20 years, and residents will be told there is no choice but to expand towns and villages into the “green gaps” which separate the area’s settlements.
Colette Blackett, planning policy manager at Adur and Worthing councils, said: “This is a plan for regeneration. We need housing and need new jobs.
“If we don’t build new houses, people will think Adur is closed for business.”
The plan, which will be available to view at a number of exhibitions across the district, sets out two options for growth, ranging from 1,785 to 2,635 dwellings being built between now and 2028, both on top of more than 1,000 new homes at Shoreham Harbour.
New business premises, at Shoreham Airport among other sites, are also being put forward.
Ms Blackett said: “Studies have said we need roughly 4,500 new homes up until 2028, but we do not have the capacity. We cannot accommodate 4,500 homes.
“New housing is a huge problem for Adur, we are constrained by the South Downs National Park and the sea. The open spaces that we do have, such a Buckingham Park, are key open spaces, and we do not want to build on them.”
The only option left, she added, was to build on “the fringes of greenfield sites”, including the New Monks Farm area, between Shoreham and Lancing which could see up to 450 new homes, land around the current Hasler estate, and the area which separates Sompting from Worthing.
Under option A, for 1,785 new homes outside of Shoreham Harbour, a total of 870 homes would be built on previously-developed land, with the remainder going onto the greenfield sites.
Residents will be asked if they would prefer to see 450 at New Monks Farm, 250 at Sompting fringe and 300 at the Hasler site, 450 at Hasler and the same at New Monks Farm, or 450 at New Monks Farm and 420 at Sompting.
Option B, if chosen, would see 1,050 at Shoreham Harbour, 600 each at New Monks Farm and Hasler, 420 at Sompting fringe, and 210 on land north of that site.
Ms Blackett went on to say that she understood there would be concerns, but the plan was the only way to make sure development in Adur paid its way.
She said: “We would have to develop all the brownfield sites first. We think it would be about 2018 that the greenfield sites are needed. Without a plan, planning applications would come forward anyway, and we would not be able to refuse them. There is a housing shortage and we need to address it, but we need development in the right places.
“Also, there is more opportunity of getting infrastructure with larger developments, and that is important.”
Building at New Monks Farm, which has already been earmarked for a Brighton and Hove Albion training ground, could bring a new primary school and improvements to the A27 around the Sussex Pad site, and construction at Hasler could see developers paying to address problems such as ground water flooding.
Have a say
Residents can have their say on the future of Adur.
A six-week period of consultation, on the Adur draft local plan, starts today (September 19) when an exhibition of the proposals will go on show, and on the road.
It will run at Lancing Village Action, in North Road, Lancing, on September 19, from 2.30pm to 7.30pm, September 20, from 10am to 2pm, September 25, from 9.30am to 12.30pm, and 5pm to 7pm, and September 27, from 10am to 2pm.
The exhibition will then move on to the Harriet Johnson Centre, Loose Lane, Sompting, on October 1, from 9am to 6pm, October 2, from 2.30pm to 7pm, and October 4, from 9am to 1pm.
The next venue will be the Shoreham Centre, Pond Road, when it will run from 9am to 9pm on October 5, 9am to 4pm on October 6, and 9am to 9pm October 8 to 12.
On October 12, council officers will have a stall at Shoreham Farmers’ Market, in East Street, between 8am and 1pm. and the plans will be on show at Southwick Community Centre, Southwick Street, between 9am and 10pm, from October 15 to 19.
The consultation will then move back to the Harriet Johnson Centre, from October 22 to 25, opening from 9am to 6pm on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and 9am to 1pm on the Thursday.
The last stop will be the Adur Civic Centre, Ham Road, Shoreham, from October 26 to 31. Opening times will be 9am to 5pm.