Daily Mail

£35k-a-year school’s horror at having Ikea as a neighbour

- By Jaya Narain

A £35,000-A-YEAR private school has gone to war with Ikea over its plans to build a huge store less than a mile from its famous Gothic spires.

Lancing College said a giant furniture store would threaten the school’s future and put the ‘guardiansh­ip’ of its 550-acre estate at risk.

Bursar Mark Milling claimed the increase in traffic caused by shoppers descending on the area would put parents off enrolling their children.

The college, which was founded in 1849 and counts writer Evelyn Waugh among former pupils, is on a hill near Shoreham, West Sussex. It overlooks flat ground where developers want to build an Ikea store and 600 houses.

The New Monks Farm site, next to Brighton City airport, is owned by Premiershi­p football team Brighton & Hove Albion, which is behind the £150million proposals.

But Mr Milling warned of gridlock, causing havoc for the parents of the school’s 230 day pupils and the 5,000 annual visitors to the school’s chapel – which is often mistaken as the model for Hog- warts in the Harry Potter films. At a planning meeting earlier this summer, he said: ‘Parents consider ease of access when choosing a school and there are plenty of other schools nearby.

‘They will vote with their feet and this will put the guardiansh­ip of our estate at risk. We are custodians of 550 acres of the South Downs National Park ... We contribute £15million to the local economy, employ 350 staff and educate 700 local children over three sites.’ And he warned plans for a diversion for school visitors would lead to an annual 430,000-mile increase in local car journeys. Natural England and the Campaign to Protect Rural England are also opposing the plans because they involve building on flood plains and mud flats that are feeding and breeding grounds for rare wading birds. Shoreham MP Tim Loughton said: ‘Of all large retail outlets the nature of Ikea requires more customers travelling by car than just about any other retailer, meaning huge pressure on the A27.’ Adur District Council’s planning committee voted to defer its decision because developers were unable to prove the project would enhance the environmen­t. It said developers should meet Lancing College to discuss the proposal. Ikea’s Tim Farlam said: ‘We are disappoint­ed with the decision as the proposal met all national and local planning guidelines ... We will now discuss the decision with New Monks Farm Developmen­t to consider our next steps.’

 ??  ?? Visitor attraction: The chapel at Lancing College and the nearby site proposed for an Ikea store and 600 new homes
Visitor attraction: The chapel at Lancing College and the nearby site proposed for an Ikea store and 600 new homes
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom