Controversial flats in Lancing approved

3D rendering of Lancing apartments

Plans for nine new flats in Lancing have been approved by Adur District Council.

The plans were approved unanimously by the council’s planning committee at its meeting on Monday, July 1, and will see a two storey extension to The Haven, in Brighton Road, to accommodate the new flats.

An extension to the front of the building for a lift core to service the flats, and 11 extra parking spaces to make 60 total for the building, as well as 18 cycle store spaces, are also planned for the development.

Hedges could be removed to make room for parking spaces, with an array of 92 solar panels, without batteries, to be installed on the roof.

Part of the development is to be built off-site to reduce the carbon impact of the new development.

The Haven currently has 27 flats across three storeys, with about 50 per cent of residents objecting to the plans with concerns including overdevelopment, loss of hedgerows and trees for new parking, obstruction of light, and noise disturbance from construction.

Olga Kolchyna, a Haven resident, said she was speaking to the committee on behalf of 90 per cent of the building’s existing residents, saying the plans could see new residents benefit ‘at the expense’ of current residents.
She said: “The proposed development disadvantages existing residents by providing amenities like a green roof to new residents while current residents will not have equal access to it and will lose the majority of [existing] green spaces.
“My needs are being treated as secondary; these comments clearly show this project doesn’t promote equality in the community – I am being marginalised in my own home.”
She said plans would see 50 metres of hedgerows and 12 trees – which she said, she had taken care of for 30 years – removed and claimed the proposed ‘green roof’ and replacement five-metre hedges would not make up for the lost biodiversity.

Another resident who objected to the plans at the meeting claimed the building would need to be cleared of asbestos if plans went ahead, with residents not likely to be moved out of the building whilst the extensions were under construction.

Agents for the developer said the development aimed to ‘sensitively retain’ the existing building and the development would be an ‘enhancement’ to it.

The architect said the asbestos would be removed ‘safely’ and ‘in conjunction’ with residents, adding no residents would be allowed access to the new green roof, new or existing.
He said he ‘absolutely would’ consider keeping the hedges given the residents’ opposition to the plans, but the chance of residents being moved out for the construction was ‘low’.
He said he thought natural gas as an energy source was ‘dead’ and so the development would aim to use its solar panels and air source heat pumps.

Councillor Andy McGregor (Con, Widewater) said he had talked to a Haven resident and was not sure the committee had any planning grounds on which to refuse the application, saying asbestos was not a material planning consideration for the committee.
Julia Watts (Ind, Marine) said she thought it was a ‘very nice development’, but felt for residents who would be affected by construction, amending conditions on the plans to retain the hedges at the expense of extra parking spaces.

Members agreed the plans with the extra conditions unanimously, with council officers to work out details to retain the hedges.

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