Lancing parish councillors have their say on New Monks Farm development

Image showing New Monks Farm development from planning document
Image showing New Monks Farm development from planning document

Councillors at Lancing Parish Council objected to the proposed development at New Monks Farm at a fiery meeting last night (Wednesday, September 6).

All but two councillors voted in support of a motion which outlined 14 reasons for rejecting the development.

Councillor James Butcher and councillor Emma Purnell did not support the motion, but outlined their concerns and objection to the development.

The hybrid planning application for the £150million scheme, led by Brighton and Hove Albion, which would see 600 homes and an IKEA built in Lancing, was considered by full council, rather than the planning committee.

The reasons for objection listed in the motion, which was read aloud by Councillor Mick Clark, included ‘severe flood risk’ to third parties, anticipated ‘gridlock’ to roads in Lancing and Shoreham and a ‘negative impact’ on ecology and wildlife.

The motion also claimed that the proposals for infrastructure were ‘woefully inadequate and unacceptable’ and that the development would lead to a ‘dramatic increase’ in air pollution,

Councillor Gina Scotting said: “We are losing our identity as a village. It’s going to be too vast.”

Martin Perry, director of New Monks Farm Development Limited, told the meeting: “I do understand this development is challenging. But I think there is also a reality here.”

He said development at the site was inevitable because of its inclusion in the emerging Adur Local Plan, which is still being considered by an inspector.

Mr Perry said: “What we are really saying is, do you want an anonymous developer to pile in and do what they want?”

“Or is it better if we do it, someone you know?”

He said the development had been changed as a result of comments picked up during the consultation – an example being a commitment to including a doctor’s surgery.

Residents who attended the meeting, which was held at Lancing Parish Hall, spoke out against the development.

Ivy, a resident of Withy Patch Gypsy and Traveller site, which would be relocated if the development went ahead, said its residents were seeking legal advice and would refuse to move.

Resident Chris Drew, who said he lives on the floodplain and experiences regular flooding in his road, told the council: “You need to make one decision tonight – yes or no.

“You have that responsibility to show our views, and it’s no.”

While 11 of the councillors at the meeting supported the motion, two councillors objected to the development for their own reasons.

Councillor James Butcher said he was in favour of the development ‘in principle’ due to the provision of housing, employment and a new country park, but said he could not support the application ‘in its current form’.

Until the issues raised by various authorities had been addressed, he said: “I object to this development on the grounds of road safety, the impact on traffic and the inadequacy of local infrastructure.”

Councillor Emma Purnell abstained from supporting the motion, which she said she believed was ‘based on opinion rather than fact’, but objected to the development on the grounds of the flood risk, traffic increase, impact on the character of the village and insufficient infrastructure.

Residents can still comment on the planning application, which can be viewed in full on Adur District Council’s website under reference number AWDM/0961/17.

Adur District Council will make a final decision on the application, at a meeting which could take place before the end of the year.

Parish councillors Geoff Patmore and Carol Albury sit on the district planning committee.

Mr Patmore supported the parish’s motion, but planning committee chairman Carol Albury sat in the public gallery and did not vote.