TIM LOUGHTON: Not convinced about impact of development

Tim still thinks the proposed development at New Monks Farm will cause chaos on the A27
Tim still thinks the proposed development at New Monks Farm will cause chaos on the A27

Last week I took the opportunity to visit the Southampton branch of IKEA to meet senior managers and grill them about how on earth they think a new store at New Monks Farm won’t completely snarl up the A27.

In fact the huge store at Southampton is only three-quarters the size of the one planned for Lancing and is in something of a dead end near the docks, nowhere near residential dwellings.

They were keen to point out again that, during the week, because they do not open until 10am they do not coincide with rush hour, although the 430 employees there clearly do.

They did have to admit however that the queues to get into the car park were pretty long at weekends and some evenings when they were at their business.

On the Friday morning the restaurant was also heaving and I was told they attract a lot of people who just come for the food, not to shop, so that presumably is on top of the two million customer journeys estimated by people who actually do come to shop.

I am afraid I am still very far from convinced, however friendly they may claim to be to the rest of the environment and however progressive their employment practices.

Also on the subject of inappropriate over-developments, congratulations to the Kingston Beach Residents Association for organising the public meeting to protest about the overbearing carbuncle being proposed for the Howard Kent site near the lighthouse, which would be completely dwarfed.

I was asked to go along and meet a handful of residents which, in the end, turned out to be more than 140, such is the strength of feeling.

This proposal really has not been thought through and is not actually required under the terms of the Adur Local Plan and fails on so many levels, in relation to local planning policies.

I have written to the Planning Department raising my objections, for what it is worth, and you can see the article in my latest constituency e-newsletter giving more details of how constituents can do the same.

At the time of writing I have just seen the terrible news about the Grand Canyon helicopter crash and the Worthing residents who were involved – three of them alumni of Worthing College alone.

This is such a sad tragedy and I am sure the hearts and prayers of the local community go out to the families and friends of the casualties.

If you would like to get in touch with me, please write to me at the House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA, or email me at loughtont@parliament.uk

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