1,500-home West Sussex neighbourhood plan clears local referendum

A West Sussex neighbourhood plan that allocates a former airfield for 1,500 homes has been backed by voters in a local referendum.

Ford Airfield: site allocated in neighbourhood plan (pic: Simon Carey via Geograph)
Ford Airfield: site allocated in neighbourhood plan (pic: Simon Carey via Geograph)

Earlier this month, the Ford Neighbourhood Plan was approved by residents, with 131 voting in favour of the document and 42 against.

The plan covers the village of Ford, which has a population of 1,690 people, near Arundel in Arun District and was prepared by Ford Parish Council.

The document supports the development of "a minimum of 1545 new dwellings and supporting infrastructure and village centre community facilities".

It allocates the development of the former Ford Airfield into a scheme with a minimum of 1,500 new homes.

The plan envisages proposals for the site to include a "high-quality imaginative design including permeable layouts for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles with visually robust outdoor spaces giving a sense of place and sense of orientation".

The document also allocates a separate site, at Burndell Road, for 45 homes.

Wates Developments and Redrow Homes are developing a masterplan for the former airfield site.

A spokesman for both developers said: "We are clearly delighted that that neighbourhood plan has been positively endorsed by the local Ford community.

"We are not aware of any other neighbourhood plan in the country allocating 1,500 new homes through a positive and collaborative process that has extended over five years to date.

"This success illustrates what can be achieved through constructive neighbourhood planning where there is clarity of purpose and imagination on all sides."

The developers said the scheme could include a new primary school, a care home, and a local centre with retail units.

Wates and Redrow Homes added that they would now work to bringing forward the masterplan, including further community consultation, ahead of a planning submission towards the end of 2018 or early 2019.

The neighbourhood plan is yet to be formally signed off by Arun District Council.

In 2016, the Newport Pagnell Neighbourhood Plan in Milton Keynes allocated sites for 1,400 new homes in the town by 2031.

Arun District Council's local plan, which also allocates the airfield site, was found sound by a planning inspector in July. 

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