Residents raise concerns over nine new homes proposed in Lancing

Residents concerned about environmental and traffic issues are opposing a proposal to build nine new homes bordering the National Park in North Lancing.

Residents in the area have raised concerns about the proposed development
Residents in the area have raised concerns about the proposed development

The development would lie north of Firle Road and would include 34 parking spaces, a play area, an ecology corridor and pedestrian access to the South Downs.

Resident Sara Owen feared a new access road for the site, which would connect opposite her home in Firle Road, would be dangerous because of its steep gradient.

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She said: “The speed of a van losing control at the top would hit my house with an incredible force.”

The development would make the flooding at the front of her home ‘ten times worse’ by ‘destroying the trees which swallow up a good proportion of rainfall’, she said.

“Firle Road is already flagged up as having difficulty in dealing with surface water as it is,” she added.

Emma Whittaker, of Firle Road, described the homes as ‘square boxy houses’ akin to ‘shipping crates’.

“It will ruin the view from the Downs,” she said, adding that the ‘very controversial’ plans would not offer ‘anything for the community’.

Another North Lancing resident said the development would exacerbate parking problems in Firle Road.

She said: “Vehicle parking has become increasingly problematic for the North Lancing community, often with verge and footway parking being the only option for residents.

“Larger vehicles are forced to drive across verges and road access splays to navigate pinch points created by parked vehicles.

“The proposed access road to the development, with it’s required splays, shall severely impact on the Firle Road residents ability to park vehicles outside their houses.”

Councillor Carol Albury, who will come off the planning committee to support residents opposing the plans, said the location of the site presented difficulties because of chalk in the ground.

“Any movement in the chalk it will have irreparable damage to the houses that back onto it,” she said.

“A lot of residents have written in about how worried they are.”

But architect James Breckell said: “The development site is included within the built-up area of Lancing where the principle of development is accepted.

“Preliminary advice from the Local Authority had suggested 9 houses appropriate.

“The design is a considered and responsible proposal to protect the natural habitat, offer greater permeability to the South Downs, offer natural outdoor recreation space whilst protecting the amenity of neighbours.

“The ‘Green’ credentials of the design are evident with grass roofs and natural timber.

“Many, many more trees are to be planted to the boundaries of the site to create a corridor for the natural ecology to thrive.

“During the two day ‘drop in’ exhibition at Lancing Parish Council held on the 6th and 7th of February, some people supported the principle of new housing because they felt that the cost of housing bore no relationship to wages for young folk.

“Those people who opposed this development at the exhibition often said ‘we agree with the principle of new housing- but not round here!’

“As a community with concern for the future we should consider the way we think about new housing.

“Are we not obliged to embrace change for the benefit of the young?

“All too often, new housing is believed to be an indictment on the environment regardless of quality. Housing used to be a basic human right within the grasp of all people.

“In 2016, Adur and Worthing awarded me their much coveted ‘Distinction in Design Award’ for local housing.

“Recognition as an Architect who adds positively to the environment is a responsibility I take very seriously. What we do in life, we leave for the next generation.

“The design at Firle Road is a potential Award winner and I hope, with the benefit of time, local people will come to see this development as a wonderful addition to Lancing.”

To view the application in full, search AWDM/1942/17 on Adur District Council’s planning portal.