There were shouts of ‘shame’ and ‘what a waste of time’ after controversial plans for three houses in Lancing were approved.
The application asked for permission to demolish a fire-damaged house in Old Shoreham Road and replace it with a five-bedroom home plus two more to the rear of its neighbour.
The neighbouring house will also be restored.
Six previous applications to develop the site, dating back to 2006, have all been refused and the same fate awaited this one before objections from West Sussex County Council and Adur’s technical services team were lifted.
Members of the planning committee were told on Monday night that the applicant’s drainage plan had been ‘tweaked’ enough to bring a ‘slight improvement’ to what was already there.
This news was not well-received by members of the public, who were often vocal while the application was being discussed.
Bill Freeman, of the Lancing Manor South East Residents Network, told the meeting that the site had flooded during extreme weather between 2013-16 and suggested that West Sussex had only lifted its objection because Adur did so first.
Mr Freeman insisted the application was exactly the same as the one previously submitted, which officers had recommended for refusal.
He added: “Quite frankly, a decision to approve this incomplete drainage scheme, with the long-term ground water flooding history and sewer failures of the area is absolutely irresponsible.”
Some councillors also seemed uncomfortable with the plans, raising concerns about road safety as well as drainage.
At first, when chairman Carol Albury (Con, Manor) called for some one to support the recommendation to approve the application, none of them wanted to speak up.
It took Stephen Chipp (Con, Southwick Green) to brand himself the ‘pantomime villain’ and take the lead, saying he had to listen to the expert advice put before him.
Mr Chipp had earlier described the application as ‘a pig’s ear of a development’ but said there were no statutory reasons to reject it.
The plan was approved on the condition that work on drainage, flood prevention and access to the site was completed to specific standards.