Lancing IKEA scrapped: East Worthing and Shoreham MP welcomes news store isn’t going ahead
Tim Loughton, MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, has released a statement this afternoon responding to the news IKEA has pulled out of building a Lancing store.
The long-serving Tory said he welcomed the news, describing it as ‘the most controversial aspect of the New Monks farm scheme’.
It comes after many in his constituency reacted with shock to the announcement.
The statement in full reads:
“I very much welcome the news that IKEA has decided against proceeding with its planned new store as part of the New Monks Farm development in Lancing in my constituency.
“I have nothing against IKEA, and shop there often myself, but this was always the wrong location and the estimated 2 million customer journeys a year were completely unsustainable on an already hugely overstretched A27.
“IKEA was always the most controversial aspect of the New Monks Farm scheme which is why I along with several Conservative councillors and many constituents objected to the plans.
“The news has come as a complete surprise to me and the rest of the community. I have received no updates either from IKEA or the developers since planning permission was granted, despite the various problems particularly around flooding and water supply that have affected many of my constituents.
“Unfortunately, this flies in the face of the original undertakings to keep the local community fully engaged with the progress of this substantial development in the heart of my constituency.
“I hope now that the IKEA site can be repurposed for something much more sustainable and complementary to the area that maximises jobs and minimises traffic congestion pressures and pollution.
“We know that there are many important businesses on Lancing Business Park and beyond which are desperate to expand, yet business space in Adur and Worthing is at a premium.
“Hence, I originally put forward a proposal that if the site is to be developed we should look to turn it in to a high tech business park which enabled successful growth businesses to stay in the area and to provide more higher skilled jobs as the Government is keen to develop.
“That might also attract families with relevant skills to the area and complement the houses that are under construction nearby helping sustainable routes to work as well.”