ADUR Council has hit back at critics who accused it of ‘pushing on’ with plans to build 600 new houses in Lancing despite strong opposition from residents.
The Liberal Democrats criticised the council for not dropping the proposed development at New Monks Farm after hundreds of people opposed the move in a public consultation
But Adur cabinet member for regeneration, Pat Beresford, said the this was ‘ignorant nonsense.’
“We are not pushing on with any development,” said Cllr Beresford.
“That land is in the plan because the developer wants it in. Our job is to assess the likelihood of that land being developed.”
Jemima Bland, Liberal Democrat candidate for East Worthing and Shoreham, said thousands of people were worried the development would increase the risk of their homes flooding.
“The council should have taken this early opportunity to put their minds at rest by making it clear the proposal would not be included in the final draft of the Adur Local Plan,” said Ms Bland.
Cllr Beresford said the inspector would decide based on ‘sound, proven technical information’.
“The idea that we are promoting something is wrong,” he said.
“It’s so misleading and scare mongering. It annoys me. It’s so irresponsible to treat the public in this way.”
Ms Bland said local residents would take small comfort from a statement which failed to rule out the plan.
“It looks as though the council is still trying to find ways to push ahead with the development despite two winters which have demonstrated that this area is regularly prone to serious flooding,” said Ms Bland.
She criticised the council for classifying New Monks Farm as only ‘amber’ risk of flooding, arguing it should have been classified as ‘red’ for high risk.
“Amber measures a ‘potential’ conflict with ‘sustainable objectives’,” said Ms Bland.
“But there was nothing potential about the water pouring down Grinstead Lane earlier this year or flooding West Beach.”
Cllr Beresford said the Environment Agency, not the council, categorised the flood risk.
He also said it had been proven that the Brighton and Hove Albion training ground had had no impact on flooding at West Beach.