Councillors reject industrial park office-to-homes conversion
Released: Wednesday, 11 November 2020
Adur councillors rejected plans to convert an industrial park office block into homes and expressed considerable concern about the government's relaxation of planning powers.
Adur District Council's Planning Committee this week (Monday, 11th November 2020) unanimously turned down a proposal to convert The Quadrant building in the heart of Lancing Business Park into 53 flats.
Planning officers recommended rejecting the application as any future residents of the building would live in unsatisfactory conditions due to the level of noise generated by the industrial estate.
Nearby businesses also approached the Council with concerns that the development would interfere with the park's 24/7 operations as new residents would likely complain about night-time noise. The Council received 25 letters of objection from firms and residents.
Councillors listened to these concerns and unanimously rejected the proposal as future residents of the converted building would suffer from the level of noise generated by nearby businesses.
As the proposal was an application for changing the use of The Quadrant and not a full planning application, Government rules dictated councillors were only able to reject the plans on a limited number of technical grounds such as noise and transport.
Cllr Brian Boggis, Adur District Council's Executive Member for Regeneration, said:
“This application was a threat to the growing prosperity of Lancing and Adur in general. Our aspiration is to provide local jobs and to lose this space would seriously deplete our opportunity to achieve this aim.
“We recognise the need for more homes in Adur and we want to create more homes. But they need to be good-quality homes built in areas fit for homes.
“The Government's planning White Paper erodes our opportunities to expand our prosperity in Adur. Local councillors know what is best for their area, so any move to weaken planning committees is a big mistake.”
Councillors said the decision shows the continued importance of ensuring planning committees have the powers they need to carry out the proper checks and balances on proposed developments in the Adur.
This is currently under threat due to the Government's proposed overhaul of the planning system outlined in the 'Planning for the future' White Paper.
The proposals include creating 'growth areas' in which applications would be automatically granted approval, allowing property owners to convert workspaces into residential buildings with no checks or balances.
Cllr Carol Albury, Chair of the Council's Planning Committee, said:
“Due to the nature of the application and Government regulations, we had very little to consider. It was a difficult job.
“But I am happy councillors came to an informed decision that the amount of noise generated in Lancing Business Park would make a residential development in The Quadrant inappropriate.
“We have made clear our opposition to the planning White Paper as it takes away vital decision-making powers from local councillors who know best how developments will impact their community.”
Photo: The Quadrant, Lancing Business Park
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Page last updated: 01 March 2021