Protesters march along A27 to highlight IKEA opposition

Some of the protesters on Saturday
Some of the protesters on Saturday

Scores of residents marched along the A27 on Saturday in protest over plans for 600 homes and an IKEA.

Campaigners started in Grinstead Lane, Lancing, and the Old Toll Bridge, Shoreham, meeting at the Withy Patch layby on the A27, near New Monks Farm, where the development is proposed.

Organisers Adur Residents Environmental Action (AREA) estimated around 250 people turned up for the protest.

AREA chairman Barb O’Kelly: “We are thrilled at the turnout and the support of cars tooting in agreement .

“There is a growing awareness of the congestion and pollution problems that would be generated by the additional two million extra journeys a year from IKEA alone.”

AREA said the main opposition expressed by those marching was to ‘increased traffic congestion and pollution on the A27’.

The group added: “The additional traffic on neighbouring roads such as the A259 and the A283, both of which are congested and have high levels of air pollution, is another major concern. There have been over 1,000 written objections submitted to the council.”

New Monks Farm is a parcel of land which borders the western boundary of Shoreham Airport and is earmarked for development in the Adur Local Plan.

Inclusion of the site in the plan courted controversy throughout the plan-making process.

The plans have generated months of debate on social media, with rival Facebook groups set up. ‘Yes to IKEA’ has around 380 members, while ‘No IKEA Lancing’ has 64 ‘likes’. The level of supporters in the ‘yes’ group, however, is in excess of the 90 who have officially written in support, while 1,132 lodged objections with Adur District Council.

New Monks Farm Development Limited, which owns the site, is a subsidiary of Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club.