MP urges residents to fight ‘crazy’ plan for 600 houses

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TIM Loughton urged residents to fight ‘crazy’plans to build on the flood plain to the East of Lancing at a busy public meeting on Thursday.

Speaking to a crowd of about 120, the MP for East Worthing and Shoreham said the Adur Draft Local Plan was by no means a done deal.

Public meeting in Lancing to discuss the draft Adur Local Plan

Public meeting in Lancing to discuss the draft Adur Local Plan

“It’s important everybody engages with the consultation process, fills in the forms and writes to the council.

“We should be making a strong case why our area is unique. We have a real shortage of possible spaces where development could happen.

“You have got to help spread the word because there are an awful lot of people who will not engage,” he said.

Mr Loughton said residents’ objections had helped persuade the council to scrap plans to build houses behind the West Beach estate.

Adur’s head of planning, James Appleton, faced a barrage of questions and comments from residents.

Geoff Patmore of West Beach Residents Association said: “One third of all the flood plain will be lost. All of that water will be displaced elsewhere.”

Architect Lydia Shilbach said: “They are simply not going to be affordable homes. How will people afford £330,000 new builds?”

Wendy Dowse of West Way, Lancing, asked why it was considered viable to build at New Monks Farm, when plans to build at West Beach had been abandoned.

Bill Freeman spoke of the ‘dreadful’ flooding he and his neighbours at Lancing Manor went through last Christmas, slamming the ‘absolutely crazy’ housing plans.

Mr Appleton said: “We have to demonstrate that we have got as close as we can to meeting our housing need.

“We are trying to make sure that we can control development, and the way to do that is by getting a sound local plan.”

Concerns were also raised that not enough had been done to publicise the plans.

Adur’s planning policy manager Collette Blackett said the council had informed residents of the plan through its website, public exhibitions, the newspaper and flyers in public places.

The meeting was followed by a public Lancing Parish Council meeting at which councillors discussed and rejected the current draft.

This rejection and the councillors’ comments will be taken into consideration but are not legally binding.

Cllr James Butcher said at the meeting: “We need a plan, but the most important thing is that it reflects what we actually want.”