Sussex’s first IKEA: Major update reveals when superstore could open
Had the world not been flung off its axis at the beginning of last year, Sussex could have been looking forward to the opening of its first IKEA store.
Instead, the patch of land next to Shoreham Airport – New Monks Farm in Lancing – remains a sodden construction site with work well behind schedule.
When planning permission was finally granted in February last year, an optimistic schedule could have been Sussex have its first IKEA store by the end of 2021.
The pandemic put paid to those hopes, but an update from the company building the estate’s houses show there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.
Housing company Cala Homes has revealed the first homes of the new estate, to be called New Monks Park, will be ready to view in the spring.
Hannah Colbran, head of sales and marketing at Cala Homes, said work had been progressing ‘really well’ since full permission was granted last year.
“We’re looking forward to releasing the first homes to the public in late spring this year, when house hunters will be able to visit our marketing suite and showhomes to see for themselves the high quality that CALA is so synonymous with,” she said.
Information on how to register interest in purchasing homes would be released ‘very soon’, she added.
Along with 600 new homes, the New Monks Farm development also involves major work on the A27, including the construction of a new roundabout, as well as an IKEA superstore, primary school and flood defences.
Conditions in the planning approval mean certain milestones have to be hit before each phase can begin.
No more than 60 homes can be occupied until Grinstead Lane has been improved and no more than 249 homes, nor the IKEA superstore, until work on the A27 has been completed.
Creation of a new junction with the A27 will begin soon – the residents of the Withy Patch gypsy and traveller site, which was in the path of the new through-road, were moved to a new location before Christmas.
The latest information from the developer, The Community Stadium Ltd, was that the A27 work should take around a year.
Amendments to the Adur flood defences are complete, drainage work at the airport is underway and a pumping station is expected to be completed later this year.
The A27 schedule estimation was made before the pandemic, but should that hold true then it would pave the way for IKEA to open in spring next year.
It would also mean the new occupants of homes 250 to 600 could begin to move in, if they are finished.
Cala Homes said its building schedule was subject to current Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, but with this latest update coming after Monday’s announcement from Boris Johnson, New Monks Park should see its first residents move in this autumn.
Highways England has been contacted for more information on what the A27 work will mean for motorists.
Full planning permission was granted for the IKEA development in February, 2020. Read more about the initial schedule here: This is when Lancing’s IKEA could open, how long the A27 work will take and when the homes will be finishedCala Homes’ Building Schedule
A marketing suite and three show homes to be open to the public.
They will be two, three and four-bedrooms homes.
The first phase of the development will be one and two-bedroom apartments (affordable housing only) and two to four-bedroom homes (affordable and private).
Thirty per cent of New Monks Park’s 600 homes will be affordable, available through Saxon Weald.
The first homes will be ready for occupation.
Exact number unclear, but likely to be fewer than 60.