Extra self-storage units in Shoreham refused permission

Plans to build new self storage units in Shoreham were unanimously rejected on Monday (6 June) due to environmental concerns.

The plans would have seen an additional 53 steel self storage lockers to the west of Ready Steady Store, on a strip of land between the railway line and properties on Gordon Road.

Agent Danny Simmonds, from RPS, said: “The purpose of this application is to provide for a modest increase in floorspace, providing the operator with increased capacity and flexibility.”

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But Adur District Council’s Planning Committee rejected the plans earlier this week following more than 40 objections.

Satellite view of the proposed site

“This proposal goes against conserving and enhancing biodiversity,” one objector said.

“Eight trees are being removed. Planting a few saplings does not mitigate the loss of mature trees.”

“This small area is a haven for wildlife and not every inch of land in Shoreham should be developed,” said another.

“There’s 17 storage companies in the surrounding area – it seems to only benefit the company.”

There were also concerns surrounding increased traffic, though West Sussex County council as the highways authority did not object.

Residents were also concerned about what could be kept in the units, which they say could pose a fire risk.

Mr Simmonds said claims of ecological harm were ‘simply untrue’.

“The [ecological] appraisal confirms that the application site is of low to moderate ecological value,” he said.

“The surveys confirm only low levels of bat activity and only one species of reptile (slow worm) being recorded, with a low population.

“The proposals will result in the loss eight trees, but these are all low value, Category C trees.”

He said bird, bat and hedgehog boxes and 13 new trees would be added and an area of land would be retained for wildlife.

However, newly elected Green councillor Julian Shinn (St Nicolas) said the expansion would go against at least three local planning policies – specifically those put in place to protect biodiversity and wildlife.

“I’ve been to this area and had a look at it,” he said, “this is a dense, ideal habitat for nature.

“We’re talking about spending money and putting effort into creating green corridors when we’ve got one here that the applicant wants to actually remove.”