Decision deferred on 1,500 homes at Ford Airfield

A decision on plans for 1,500 homes, community facilities and employment space at Ford Airfield has been deferred.

Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 2:27 pm
Aerial view of Ford Airfield site

Redrow Homes and Wates Developments’ outline application for the site was discussed by Arun District Council’s planning committee on Wednesday (November 24).

Councillors voted to defer the application to allow for a further review of a recently-received odour assessment and more clarity on trigger points for section 106 contributions from the developers.

The two primary accesses would be from Ford Lane from the north and Yapton Road to the south and a third serving current and new commercial units from Ford Road to the east.

Alongside the homes, the proposed development includes a primary school and nursery, hub including retail, commercial and community facilities alongside library and healthcare facilities, sports pitches, employment space, public open space and retention of the market.

Deputy council leader Jacky Pendleton (Con, Middleton-on-Sea) pointed out that the council had received the plans almost two years ago and felt Arun would simply be ‘stalling’ if it deferred the application.

She added: “Let’s get this outline planning application done and dusted.”

One of the main concerns expressed by councillors was road capacity and safety.

A representative from Clymping Parish Council suggested promised improvements to the A259 were still uncertain and until they are delivered the situation would be ‘miserable’ for new and existing residents.

The need for a road bridge to the north over the railway line was raised by several speakers.

Isabel Thurston (Green, Barnham) suggested active travel and public transport links should always be put in before new homes are occupied so a move away from car travel becomes ‘habit forming’, but it was ‘probably too late’ for this.

Hugh Coster (Ind, Aldwick East) acknowledged the developers and community had worked very hard to create an ‘effective and desirable’ masterplan.

But he suggested queuing and congestion in North End Road would be worsened by extra traffic generated by the application and other developments already approved but not built in Yapton.

Referencing the Oystercatcher junction on the A259, he added: “There’s no plan all talk about when that is going to be done and it’s already a dangerous junction now.”

Councillors voted against simply deferring on odour and decided to add a further reason to receive more information on trigger points for section 106 contributions and heads of terms.