Concern over Shoreham development’s impact on South Downs setting

An artists' impression of the development
An artists' impression of the development

A national park authority has submitted a holding objection to an industrial development at Shoreham Airport.

The South Downs National Park Authority has ‘significant concerns’ about the development, which would see several new units of distribution warehouses and large light industrial buildings set along Cecil Pashley Way.

Tim Slaney, director of planning at the South Downs National Park Authority, has asked how the site can accommodate the proposed 25,000sqm of floorspace without causing ‘substantial harm to the surrounding area’.

The site is allocated for a minimum of 15,000sqm of employment space in the Adur Local Plan.

Mr Slaney said the impact of the development on views into and from the South Downs National Park needed to be considered.

“The current scheme has not considered positive mitigation measures to address landscape and visual impacts,” he said.

He describes the buildings as ‘of significant size and height, with no attempt to break up the mass’.

The development would also have an ‘unacceptable’ impact on light pollution due to its proximity to the park, which has a dark skies reserve status, he said.

Gerry Thompson from the Shoreham Society said many residents had concerns about the development, particularly about the potential impact of traffic generated by the units.

He said: “What we hear from our members and other concerned residents of Shoreham and Adur is that they are very worried about the potential traffic impact, because a building that is for storage and distribution could attract a lot of traffic movements.”

However a spokesman for the development said: “Land at Shoreham Airport is identified for commercial development in the adopted Adur Local Plan and other sub-regional and regional economic development strategies, including the Greater Brighton Devolution Prospectus.

“It is one of very few local sites that provide the opportunity to deliver much-needed employment space in the local area.

“Albemarle Shoreham Airport Limited’s architect and landscape consultants have for many months developed the plans and consulted with key stakeholders to ensure they minimise the visual impact of the development.

“The Airport is a working employment and industrial estate and the proposed development will help secure its future.

“It could provide up to 450 new jobs and add £12 million annually to the local economy.”

View the application in full by searching AWDM/1093/17 on Adur’s planning website.

READ MORE: New industrial units proposed at Shoreham Airport