AN ESTATE agent advertising a £1million plot of farmland for sale near Shoreham Airport says it has ‘future development potential’, despite the council stating the land is unsuitable for housing.
The 107-acre plot at New Salts Farm Road, between Lancing and Shoreham, has just been put up for sale and is described as an ‘excellent capital investment opportunity’ by agent Batcheller Monkhouse.
But Adur Council’s planning boss James Appleton said it was ‘certainly not a suitable housing site’.
“It’s certainly not a site we support for development,” said Mr Appleton.
“South of the railway line, we think there are more severe flooding issues.”
Despite what the council had said, Batcheller Monkhouse partner Russel Parkes said he believed the land did have future development potential.
He said Adur Council would be under increasing Government pressure to find suitable land for housing, and that their current stance would change one day.
“Adur does need to achieve a significant amount of housing in the area and they are working with the Environment Agency to improve flood-risk management,” he said.
“If that is overcome, then clearly this land is in the firing line for future development.”
Residents on the low-lying West Beach estate to the south were alarmed by the news, as their streets already flood regularly.
Vice-chairman of the West Beach Residents’ Association, and councillor for Widewater, Geoff Patmore, said the New Salts Farm land was prime agricultural land that should not be subject to potential exploitation by developers.
“The land is also a significant flood plain protecting Lancing and Shoreham from severe groundwater and surface-water flooding,” he said.
“The relentless pressure from developers to build on prime agricultural land created by this Government’s relaxation of planning laws is untenable and must stop.
“Any development on flood plains, whether they be football pitches or golf courses, can never again be reinstated as functioning flood plain or prime agricultural land.
“It is a catastrophe which is being ignored locally and across the country.”
Mr Patmore said the majority of his Widewater constituents were opposed to any form of development whatsoever on their ‘valuable land resources’.
The two plots on either side of New Salts Farm Road are owned by house builder Taylor Wimpey, which is obliged to sell after failing to obtain planning consent.