CONTROVERSIAL plans by Brighton and Hove Albion FC for 600 homes and a new Ikea store in Lancing are expected to be passed.

Council officers published a 240-page report yesterday which recommends that the scheme be given the green light.

But the decision rests in the hands of elected councillors who will decide the fate of the major New Monks Farm development at a planning meeting next Wednesday.

The council is expecting a large public turnout and will provide seating for 500 people at the Sir Robert Woodard Academy in Upper Boundstone Lane from 7pm.

The plans also include a new roundabout on the A27, a country park, land for a school and a community hub.

Withy Patch Gypsy and Traveller site would also be moved and expanded if the plans go ahead.

The lengthy report says a history of flooding in the area and the site’s location in the strategic gap between Lancing and Shoreham has made the planning application one of the most controversial in the history of Adur District Council.

But it says building the homes is “vital” to meet the council’s future housing needs.

And it says the economic benefits and creation of new jobs are “compelling”.

The report says the plans have “understandably heightened the public’s anxiety”.

And it said uncertainty over future improvements to the A27 had not helped the situation.

The report concludes that “the matter is finely balanced” but is recommended for approval.

Councillors will use the document as a guide to help them make a final decision.

It comes after 13 organisations, including Lancing Parish Council and Adur Floodwatch, urged the council to delay the crunch meeting and not to make a decision “in haste”.

In an open letter, they said there were too many unanswered questions for councillors to be able to make a “balanced and fair decision”.

But the council has rejected this request.

It said in a statement: “As with all applications, large and small, this will be decided solely on its merits using planning criteria set for such matters by statute.

“This application has been with us for a year now as we worked through procedure, the revisions to the plan, its overall complexity and the appropriate wide-ranging scope for consultation.

“This hardly suggests haste.

“All statutory consultees had the required 30 days to respond to the latest amended plans.”