New Monks Farm: Environmental campaigners’ fears remain over IKEA development

Campaigners have repeated warnings over potential environmental damage caused by the New Monks Farm development.

The 600-home scheme, which was finally given the green light this month, has faced criticism from environmental groups since its inception.

According to Adur Residents Environmental Action’s (AREA’s) Barbara O’Kelly, the group had been ‘resigned to the inevitable’ for a while, but warned of the impact to come.

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“Until local politics becomes about the community and independent thought, where people believe their opinion counts and moves away from blind party loyalties, nothing will change,” she said.

An artist's impression of the IKEA superstore

“If Adur does not want to become a polluted, congested community of high rise blocks of flats, unaffordable housing and inadequate infrastructure then residents must be listened to and supported in their concerns over what is happening to their community.”

The development, which will also include an IKEA superstore and a new roundabout on the A27, was recommended for approval by expert bodies including Highways England, the Environment Agency and Southern Water during the planning process.

A legal agreement signed on February 5 tied the developer into improvements including a new pumping station to limit water build-up on the flood plain.

Adur Floodwatch Group has long been a vocal critic of the scheme and warned recent flooding around Lancing – which left gardens saturated and some residents unable to flush their toilets – was a sign of things to come.

The group had concerns about the impact on Adur’s ‘fragile drainage system’, but said it would monitor construction to ensure agreed conditions were being adhered to.