A ground-breaking neighbourhood plan led development at the former Ford Airfield, West Sussex has taken a further step forward with the submission of an outline planning application to ‘create a new heart to Ford’ together with 1500 new homes at a highly sustainable location.
It is believed to be the largest single allocation of homes delivered through a neighbourhood plan in England.
A second application to enhance the facilities for the very popular car boot sales and farmers markets has also been submitted with strong local community support.
The 900+ acre-site includes a mixture of agricultural land and the former historic Ford airbase which played a role as a Battle of Britain airfield in WW2 and a base for RAF Hunter jets. As it currently exists the airfield effectively bisects the Parish.
Following a positive local referendum on the Ford Neighbourhood Plan in November 2018, a broader masterplan and application has been developed by Wates Developments and Redrow Homes with significant local community consultation and involvement.
A spokesperson for the Wates Developments and Redrow Southern Counties Homes commented: “We are delighted this ground-breaking neighbourhood planning led development at Ford has reached the stage of outline planning submission with the support of the local Ford community.
‘We are not aware of any other neighbourhood planning process in the country bringing forward a single allocation of 1500 new homes through a positive and collaborative engagement that has extended over six 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.
‘As the masterplan for the site was developed ahead of the planning submissions, there has been continued consultation with all local stakeholders. Consequently, a high-quality sustainable proposal has been developed that meets local needs, particularly the creation of a new ‘community heart’ for Ford, which has been the Parish’s central concern from the outset.
‘We aim for this true collaboration between local community and developers to continue and bring this complex site fruition, delivering much-needed new homes, community facilities and jobs to the area.”
In addition to the 1,500 new homes, the development proposals include a new primary school, provision for a care home, a local centre with retail units, significant open space, allotments, play spaces, further football pitches to complement the retained Arun Sports Arena and Children’s Flying Fortress family entertainment centre.
Popular car boot sales and farmers markets on the site will continue with enhanced facilities planned. The site is allocated in the Ford Neighbourhood Plan and the Arun District Council Plan.