Wates Developments and Redrow Homes will now work to bringing forward the masterplan, including further community consultation, ahead of a planning submission towards the end of this year or early in 2019.
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 was a base for RAF Hunter jets. As it currently exists the airfield effectively bisects the parish.
A spokesperson for the developers said that they were clearly delighted that that the 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,” said the spokesperson. “This success illustrates what can be achieved through constructive neighbourhood planning where there is clarity of purpose and imagination on all sides.”
The team has said that it will continue to consult with all local stakeholders as the masterplan continues to be developed ahead of the planning submission.
Meetings already held with local residents have included a weekend workshop in July for local residents including the Ford Neighbourhood Planning Group. Others taking part included the Sussex branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, Sussex Community Housing Hub, Sussex Wildlife Trust and the Campaign for Better Transport.