Another Waugh School Under Threat

Last week, The Spectator reported the threat of closure faced by the Downside Abbey School. (See previous post). Now the Daily Mail has announced that another Waugh-related school is endangered, although there is no imminent threat to its continued existence. This is Lancing College. According to the Mail, Lancing:

… 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.

Although not entirely explained in the Mail’s story, the opening of the IKEA site will apparently require rerouting of traffic to/from the school. The Bursar:

… 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. … 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.’

The story does not explain why Lancing does not itself offer buy the parcel of land to preserve it or whether it could afford to do so.

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