'˜Grave reservations' about IKEA: MP responds to New Monks Farm proposals

The development at New Monks Farm would have '˜major implications' for residents and for the A27, the MP for East Worthing and Shoreham has said.

Tuesday, 31st January 2017, 2:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 31st January 2017, 2:03 pm
An aeiral view of the A27, showing the land earmarked for a new IKEA and homes

Tim Loughton MP has raised concerns in response to draft proposals for a major development at New Monks Farm – which will include 600 houses, a new school, a ‘community hub’, a country park and retail space, which IKEA has confirmed it will seek to move to.

He said of the plans: “It is the impact on my existing constituents that I am most concerned about and the very substantial impact it will have on the A27 in particular.”

He also has ‘grave reservations’ about a retailer the size of IKEA.

The A27 would ‘inevitably bear the brunt of the greatly increased traffic’, but the developments plans had come before any solutions for upgrading the A27 had been published, he said.

One the new planned roundabout, which would provide ‘the only entrance into the New Monks Farm development’, he said: “Building a roundabout does not mean any less traffic and could simply mean the back-ups from the Lancing Manor roundabout extend even further.

“An IKEA will obviously attract thousands of cars in from a very substantial catchment area.”

Referencing the ‘negative experience’ of the traffic lights at Grove Lodge and the ‘near unanimous calls to scrap them’, he said: “I am greatly concerned that developers potentially want to revisit that mistake in Lancing.”

Mr Loughton is also concerned about the ‘major implications’ for residents in Lancing and Sompting.

He acknowledged that more homes and school places were needed and said it was ‘likely’ that a new GP surgery would be included in the ‘community hub.’

But he asked: “Does this represent an ‘over-development’ which would seriously impact on the quality of life for those people already living in the area?

“While I agree that some level of development is certainly possible and will ‘tidy up’ this area, 600 houses is an awful lot.”

He also said he had ‘grave reservations’ about a retailer the size of IKEA.

While several hundred low skilled jobs will ‘undoubtedly’ be created, he said unemployment in Adur was below 1.4 per cent.

This would mean workers being brought in from outside the area ‘again adding to traffic.’

He also identified flooding as an issue.

Mr Loughton said: “I am pleased that the developers have heeded my earlier warnings that the only way to deal with the flooding issue is to install a comprehensive pumping solution.

“They will now need to prove that what is proposed will work to alleviate the existing problem, which will only be exacerbated by tarmacking over porous open fields.”

He said he would scrutinise the plans ‘carefully’ and make sure residents ‘have every opportunity to ask questions, have their say and influence the outcome.’

But as the decision will ultimately be up to Adur Council, he said it was important for residents to lobby their councillors accordingly.

Residents had the chance to view and comment on the New Monks Farm development plans at public exhibitions on Friday and Saturday.

The third and final exhibition takes place at Lancing Parish Hall tomorrow (Wednesday, February 1) between 4pm and 8pm.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage

2) Like our Facebook page

3) Follow us on Twitter

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

Always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.