More than a year and a half after the controversial plans were first announced, Adur District Council’s planning committee voted 5-3 last night to approve the development, which also includes the provision of a new roundabout on the A27, a country park, land for a school and a community hub.
So what happens next?
The application could be called in
While the planning committee has given the go ahead for the scheme, it could still be called in by the Secretary of State for consideration on procedural grounds.
The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has the power to call in planning applications rather than letting the local authority decide but will normally only do this if the application conflicts with national policy in important ways or is nationally significant.
If the Secretary of State decides to call in a planning application, an inspector is appointed to carry out an inquiry into the proposal.
The findings of the inquiry must then be taken into account when the secretary makes a decision.
Tim Loughton, MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, has said he is seeking an urgent meeting with James Brokenshire, the Secretary of State, to further his request for a call in.
The Sussex branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE Sussex) is also calling on Mr Brokenshire to call in the application.
If an application is called in, the decision to approve or reject it is made by the Government and taken out of the local authority’s hands.
There could be a judicial review
Opponents to the scheme have six months to consider calling for a judicial review at the High Court.
A judicial review is the legal process by which the lawfulness of a planning decision can be challenged.
It will only consider the lawfulness of a decision and test whether it was legally right or wrong.
A bad decision could be quashed by a judicial review and returned to the relevant authority, who must then make a fresh decision.
The authority could then make the same decision again, as long as it is made lawfully.
Guidance from the CPRE warns that a court challenge can be ‘a very complex, lengthy and costly’ process.
Legal agreements must be made
Even if a call-in or a judicial review is avoided, a section 106 legal agreement must be signed.
This is a list of conditions developers must adhere to in order for full planning permission to be granted, including provisions of mitigating infrastructure such as flood defences and the roundabout replacing the A27 Sussex Pad junction.
Negotiations will now take place between council officers and the developers to agree on the level of contributions to be paid.
At the meeting, planning office James Appleton said that the county council wanted a financial contribution towards the construction of a school ontop of the provision of two hectares of land for a school – which the applicants did not agree with.
Councillors were told that providing educational contributions would mean less funds provided in other areas – such as affordable housing.
But during the meeting last night, councillor David Simmons said providing affordable housing ‘was a priority’.
When will building work start?
Martin Perry, director of New Monks Farm Development Limited, said after the meeting yesterday that if the Section 106 agreement is signed quickly then it is hoped work will start on site in January 2019.
Homes will be delivered in mid 2019, while IKEA will be delivered in early 2021. SEE MORE: All you need to know about the IKEA decision meeting