Residents and organisations have reacted to the outcome of last night’s meeting where councillors considered proposals for 600 homes and an IKEA at New Monks Farm.
Councillors on Adur District Council’s planning committee voted to defer their decision on the planning application.
Members asked for IKEA to undertake further work in relation to the environmental impact of the proposed development, taking into account the objections received, and for further discussions to be undertaken with Lancing College in relation to the proposed fourth arm of the proposed A27 roundabout.
The developers, New Monks Farm Development Limited, a subsidiary of Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club, said the decision was ‘disappointing’ but that they would continue discussions, adding ‘by no means is this the end of the road’.
A spokesman from Lancing College said: “Lancing College wants what is right for the whole community.
“There have been discussions with New Monks Farm concerning access to the College, but to date these have not led to any satisfactory conclusion.
“We will continue our dialogue with them, and other relevant parties, to try to find a solution which is right for all.”
Residents have also shared their reaction to the outcome.
Gerry Thompson from the Shoreham Society, who spoke on behalf of the organisation last night, said: “We were pleased to see it deferred because we feel all along it has been railroaded through without proper consideration of a lot of important issues.
“I think it buys time for issues to be developed further.
“We feel that there are still big issues.
“I was very pleased to see the depth of the discussion.
“It’s a step forward to see councillors of all parties really thinking deeply about what this means and not necessarily accepting what the planning department recommended, but thinking it through for themselves.”
Colin Hannan, a civil engineer from Lancing who spoke in support of the application at the meeting, said: “The outcome was not unexpected because it’s a huge decision for such a small community.
“It’s a tough call to make a firm decision.
“I think it’s a reasonable decision and it’s one I would have probably taken.”
He agreed with councillors that there were ‘a couple of areas to work on’ with the application.
“There’s one or two areas that could make it more attractive to the naysayers,” he said. “They’ve got to really meet the community aspirations.”
Reflecting on the meeting, he said: “It was a pity there weren’t more ‘for’ people in the audience.
“The councillors quite rightly read the mood of the meeting, which was generally against IKEA but not necessarily against the housing, but there’s a wealth of people out in the Adur district who are for it but don’t bother to turn up.”
Resident Darren Stuart, who also supports the application, said: “I was disappointed that councillors deferred the decision as the proposal was submitted over 12 months ago, however if a bit of extra time allows for the developers and Lancing College to discuss further to see if their is a solution that delivers the proposed development while mitigating as much impact as possible for the college then it is worth the delay.
“I was pleased to see that the statutory consultees comments on traffic and flood risk measures were largely accepted and hope that the proposal can be agreed in the not too distant future.”
Tim Loughton MP said in a tweet today: “Well done to the Adur Planning Committee for not approving the New Monks Farm application last night – still too many questions about environmental impact, traffic congestion and cutting off Lancing College that have simply not been addressed.”