The approval of the New Monks Farm development has sparked a strong reaction in the aftermath of the planning meeting.
The plans, which include an IKEA and 600 new homes, have divided opinion since they were first submitted and last night’s (October 4) decision was destined to leave many disappointed, whatever the outcome.
As East Worthing MP Tim Loughton called for government scrutiny, speakers, councillors and community groups had their say after the meeting.
Colin Hannan is an Adur resident who spoke in favour during the planning meeting. He said he was pleased with the outcome and praised the ‘great democratic process’.
“This is a project for the next eight to ten years,” he said.
“Locals my age won’t be around to see it, it’s for new families coming in.
“It is easy to criticise it, but we need to be positive and see this as something we can grasp. I hope it puts a heart into Lancing.”
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Mr Hannan had been joined at the supporting speakers’ table by Peverel ward councillor Brian Boggis. He said he was relieved to see the plans approved and that it can only be good for Lancing to bring in desperately needed housing.
He rejected the complaints about IKEA bringing in ‘low skilled jobs’, saying he ‘hates the idea that retail is talked about like some kind of under class’ and said this presented a great opportunity for young people in the area to get on the career ladder.
Residents on the other side of the argument left the Sir Robert Woodard Academy in less buoyant moods.
Lancing Parish Council had staunchly opposed the plans from the offset and the council’s chairman, Gloria Eveleigh, spoke in objection during the meeting.
As a resident of south Lancing, she said the negative impact would be massive. She said: “I am totally disappointed. There are a lot of people who were for it and most of them don’t really understand the problems.
“Problems on the roads are going to be terrible and pollution is going to get ridiculous.”
She suggested congestion on the A27 would spread into Shoreham and Lancing as drivers sought to avoid the traffic.
The chairman of the Sussex branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, David Johnson, said the decision was ‘shocking’ and ‘damaging’.
“This is a shocking and wrong decision which will significantly damage the landscape and we believe it threatens the long term viability of the airport,” he said.
“We would like to encourage anyone who shares our concerns to write to the Secretary of state for housing communities and local government, James Brokenshire, to call in this application for proper scrutiny”.