SUSSEX will remain without an Ikea store for the near future as the furniture giant reveals it has no plans to open a store in the county.

Residents disappointed that the Swedish firm was pulling the plug on its Lancing development have been dealt another blow, as it confirmed there are no "immediate plans" for another store in the region.

The furniture giant selected the site at the New Monks Farm just over five years ago in 2016 but today announced it was scrapping the store and sell the land intead.

Ikea cited a change in shopping habits as more customers move online to make purchases.

A spokesman told The Argus: "We remain committed to serving customers in the Sussex area in the best possible way and although we don’t have any immediate plans for a physical touchpoint elsewhere in the region, customers can still take full advantage of our strong online offer and home delivery service, as well as our remote selling and planning facilities.

"In a fast-changing retail environment, it’s more important than ever that we continue to evaluate how we can remain relevant in the eyes of our customers.

"IKEA remains committed to growth in the UK and as part of its omnichannel strategy to meet customers whenever and wherever they choose, the retailer continues to put all its energy into its existing stores, investing in its online offer and exploring new formats."

The land in Lancing will be advertised for sale in due course as part of an open bidding process, the company said.

Just last month, steel girders were pictured being installed near the A27 to form a new access bridge to the New Monks Park development.

It was planned that the highway bridge would connect the site to the carriageway with a new four-arm roundabout.

Last year the developer agreed to pay for residents to be moved from the site to a new plot to make way for the new access road.

The first homes at the development went on sale to prospective buyers earlier this year, as building work progressed on the first batch of homes near the Mash Barn estate.

However restrictions in the contract mean a maximum of 249 homes can be occupied before the A27 access roundabout roadworks are completed.

Cala Homes said prices range between £335,000 and almost £700,000, depending on the size of the property.

A detached three-bedroom home costs between £485,000 and £525,000, while a detached, four-bedroom property with a garage and parking spaces will set you back £690,000.

Richard Rands, market expansion manager at IKEA UK and Ireland, said: “This has not been an easy decision to make.

"Today, we are operating in an incredibly fast-changing retail environment and customer shopping habits aren’t as they once were.

"Although we know that there is great potential in Sussex, we no longer believe that an IKEA store on the outskirts of Lancing is the optimum way to reach customers in the region. We understand this news may disappoint some and we remain committed to serving customers in Lancing in the best possible way, through both our online offer and home delivery service, as well as our remote selling and planning facilities.”