Absent councillors were the elephant in the room at a meeting dominated by concerns about planning and the environment.
More than 200 people filled the Shoreham Centre in Pond Road, Shoreham, on Monday night at a meeting of Adur Residents Environmental Action. Adur District councillors were invited, but there was no official representative.
Area chairman Barb O’Kelly said: “What has come out of this tonight is that we need to tackle the council.
“They thought it was going to be a slanging match given all the opinions we have heard tonight.
“We need free discussion with the councillors and the council, which is not happening.”
Top of the agenda was improving roads – and fears the IKEA plans, branded ‘despicable’ by Barb O’Kelly, could cripple them.
Gabrielle Crisp was among several residents of Old Shoreham Road complaining about worsening traffic. She claimed her road had seen a 140 per cent increase in traffic since living there, causing three of her children to get asthma. She wanted effective transport solutions and to motivate young people to get active. She said: “We can’t do that if parents are worrying about their children’s safety due to the air quality or being hit by a car.”
A representative of Friends of the Earth and Clive Andrews from Shoreham-By-Cycle called for the council to make cycling a viable transport option.
Tony Morris, chairman of sheltered housing in Adur, was ‘disappointed’ in the lack of sheltered housing or housing for vulnerable people in Adur’s local plan. South Down Project chairman Ed Carr claimed plans for a housing development at the Shoreham Cement Works led by residents rather than developers was close to reality.
Richard James, from Shoreham Beach, said Area needed to offer ‘constructive’ housing alternatives if they did not want to be seen as nimbys – to which Bill Freeman from Adur Floodwatch said too much land was at risk of flooding: “Quite frankly, it isn’t a case of being nimbys – you have to realise where we are living and what is possible, and 3,700 houses is pushing it to the nth degree.”