Crucial housing plan step closer to approval – but ‘shortcomings’ must be addressed

An aerial shot showing New Monks Farm. Supplied by Geoff Patmore. SUS-170123-121542001
An aerial shot showing New Monks Farm. Supplied by Geoff Patmore. SUS-170123-121542001

A government inspector scrutinising a crucial document outlining the future of Adur has released his preliminary findings.

Inspector David Hogger suggested numerous changes to address ‘shortcomings’ in the Adur Local Plan, which sets out the district council’s plans for housing and economic growth up until 2031.

But the council said much of its work had been supported, with indications it would not have to bow to developer pressure to include more sites for housing than planned.

A spokesman said: “The inspector’s modifications did not refer to the allocation of any other land for development, apart from the sites already proposed by the plan.

“This means sites such as the Shoreham Gateway, near the A27 flyover, Mill Hill in Shoreham and Old Salts Farm and New Salts Farm, both in Lancing, are not earmarked as areas to build on.”

A series of public hearings were held in January and February to scrutinise the plan.

The plan allocated enough land to build a minimum of 3,600 homes – but this fell more than 2,000 short of expected demand.

Sites for housing included New Monks Farm, in Lancing, the western harbour arm of Shoreham Port and greenfield land west of Sompting.

Developers argued the shortage of land meant building on more green spaces was needed.

Council director for the economy Martin Randall said: “It’s always tricky to get the balance right when it comes to development.

“I’m pleased that the Inspector has recognised the local authority’s commitment to supporting the creation of new homes and workplaces while protecting the special and unique environment across the Adur district.”

The inspector’s proposed modifications will be subject to public consultation in summer. The council hopes the plan will finally be adopted by the end of the year.

They included requiring ‘at least a partial review’ of the plan within five years, clarification about the planned A27 roundabout to serve the New Monks Farm development and ensuring it would come with a country park of a ‘minimum’ size of 28 hectares.