Adur, West & East Worthing Party including East Arun

“Adur Council bulldozes over Mash Barn residents” says Parish Councillor

“Adur Tories bulldoze over Mash Barn residents after bulldozing their property” says Parish Councillor

Lancing Strategic Gap


Residents threatened with removal from recent Council meeting

Ever since the Adur District came into being some 40 years ago the local Liberal Democrat Party has fought tooth and nail to preserve the policy of strategic gaps between Shoreham & Lancing and Lancing & Sompting with Worthing. The reasons and arguments for doing so have not changed. The most important of which was to give autonomy to the concerned communities and break up the unremitting coastal sprawl, and to prevent the overdevelopment that has occurred in those unprotected areas. This was achieved by the vigilance and a strategic plan at Adur sympathetic to this philosophy.

Around the millennium the balance of power changed at Adur in favour of the Conservatives and Government policy applied pressure to release more land for development. Very quickly brown sites became covered with high density housing for example the old wharfs on Shoreham beach. The strategic gap covered by the local plan started to be eroded by allowing the construction of a Golf course between the Airport and the Mash Barn in Lancing selling the idea by the developer providing new playing fields for the community on the land next door. The Government then suspended to Local Strategic Plan for revision and to date this has not been completed. In quick succession applications to build vast housing estates in the gap have been proposed. 

On to the scene now appears Brighton and Hove football club looking to find a location for a training ground for their players and long term development of their business. They decide that the proposed area already earmarked as playing fields would be ideal for their purposes and with great haste put in a proposal with incentives for acceptance which has Adur Councillors in an election year falling over with anticipation of political success in developing the strategic gap. This with some local party support and the backing of the football fans whose numbers in Adur are not inconsiderable.

Other than policy the one major problem with the proposal is the current minimal access to the land to be developed. The one access road which will not fall foul of West Sussex County Council roads policy is a cart track unused for some 35 years. This un-adopted road was invaded one morning with contractors working on instructions from Adur Council to clear it to make access possible.

There was no consultation with residents and damage was done to several home owners’ property. When the residents complained they were given an insensitive reply by the authorities resulting in an action group forming to find out what exactly was going on. The reporting of this group was reported by your local paper in an insensitive manner resulting in the lunatic fringe concluding that this movement was Anti Brighton and Hove Albion and they in turn over reacted in more than an insensitive manner.

We are left now with an opportunistic Conservative Adur Council, some very upset residents on the Mash Barn and Monks Farm estate. A Golf Course owner with nowhere to build his community playing fields, A football club with deadlines to meet, An access problem that has the potential to disrupt local traffic and encourage further development, and still no strategic plan for guidance.

To the Liberal Democrats this is not good planning or governance. Our policy has not changed regarding the future of the strategic gaps but we are open to consultation with all residents who have a view on these matters. If as a result changes are required we are open to persuasion with the good of the greater community in mind but to the rights and aspirations of the affected residents in particular.

We do believe that a compromise is possible but not perhaps within the current time constrictions.

We look forward to your views.