The leader of Greater Brighton region called for a swift government response on the New Monks Farm development.

Cllr Garry Wall has written to the Secretary of State on behalf of the Greater Brighton Economic Board backing the plan to deliver 600 new homes on the site, a new IKEA store and business units alongside the A27 in Lancing.

The development which totals £182m worth of investment and could bring £28m a year into the local economy has already been given planning permission at a special meeting of Adur District Council last year.

Under planning law the Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has the power to ‘call in’ sizeable developments such as that at New Monks. A ‘call in’ would lead to a review by the national planning inspectorate of the decision to grant permission.

Protocol says the Secretary of State, James Brokenshire, should make a decision on ‘call in’ within 21 days but New Monks has now been sitting on his desk for more than 100 days.

In a letter to Mr Brokenshire Cllr Wall points out that the Greater Brighton’s role is to maximise opportunities to ensure the region is able to fulfill its economic potential.

Cllr Wall, who is also leader of Mid Sussex District Council, writes: “The Board has asked me to outline the significant economic benefits that could flow from the development and improvements within these applications. There is local support for them and a package of supporting infrastructure benefits that will significantly assist the area.”

He adds that the future of Shoreham Airport is at serious risk if the developments, and the investment they will bring, do not go ahead.

“The airport operator and local consultative committee have indicated that these developments represent the best option for keeping the airport in operation,” he tells the Secretary of State.