Agenda item

F/4/20/OUT - Land at Ford Airfield, Ford


[Councillor Pendleton re-declared her Personal Interest made at the beginning of the meeting. Councillor Thurston joined the meeting at the beginning of this item. Councillor Charles joined the meeting during this item and declared a Personal Interest as a Member of West Sussex County Council.]


5 Public Speakers

Cllr Colin Humphris – Climping Parish Council

Nigel Searle - Objector

Philip Atkinson - Objector

Robin Shepherd - Agent

Paul Collins - Supporter


Outlineplanning application (withall mattersreserved exceptfor access)for thedevelopment of up to 1,500 dwellings (Use Class C3), 60-bed care home (UseClass C2), up to 9,000 sqm of employment floorspace (Use Classes B1), localcentre of up to 2,350 sqm including up to 900 sqm retail / commercial (UseClasses A1-AS) and 1,450 sqm community / leisure floorspace (Use Classes D1-D2),landforatwo-formentryprimaryschool(UseClassD1),publicopenspace, allotments, new sports pitches and associated facilities, drainage, parking andassociated access, infrastructure, landscape, ancillary and site preparation works,including demolition of existing buildings and part removal of existing runwayhardstanding. This application affects a Public Right of Way. This application is thesubject of an Environmental Statement. This application may affect the setting of aListed Building.This applicationfalls withinCIL Zone1 -Zero Rated.


The Chair welcomed Stephen Gee from West Sussex County Council to the meeting. The Principal Planning Officer presented the report with both written and verbal updates and explained the Officer recommendation had changed from Delegated Conditional Approval to Deferral due to the need to clarify discrepancies between odour assessments carried out on the site. This was followed by 5 Public Speakers and a representation from Alan Lovell read out by the Chair.


Members then took part in a full debate on the application where a number of points were raised and responded to by Officers, including:

·       several questions remaining unanswered (the need for improvements to the Oystercatcher junction, increased vehicle numbers including cyclists, whether improvements needed or should be completed before any of the new properties are occupied, public money via the Section 106 agreement going to a private cricket club, the viability of a bus service only once a third of properties are occupied and whether the developers should subsidise a service) and the issue of the odour assessment not being the only grounds for deferral

·       concerns over the allocations of the section 106 contributions, and the need for these details to be agreed by Committee in order to more appropriately assess the application

·       the objection from Grundon, why they are objecting on the grounds of odour given their role in producing some of it and Grundon’s own planning application with West Sussex County Council which Arun opposed due to conflicts with the Local Plan

·       support for the Masterplan having been developed with the community and for working within the constraints it had to, but the need for more joined-up thinking on all the infrastructure issues in the area (Ford Lane, Horsemere Green Lane) with Active Travel Plans and public transport arrangements to be in place before people begin move into the development to foster positive transport habits

·       an increased strategic significance to be made of Ford Rail Station

·       the application being an Outline planning application with all matters reserved except for access

·       the length of time (22 months) the application has taken to reach Committee, it being a strategic site for house building in the District, and whether if after two sets of odour assessments deferral was a reasonable course of action or imposing further conditions was more appropriate

·       no objection from West Sussex County Council Highways, but willingness from the developer to work with some of the issues posed (Horsemere Green Lane, Ford Lane)

·       further appreciation that the developers and community had worked hard to create something effective and desirable, but recognition that issues still remained - highway issues and increased traffic (Climping, Ford Lane, level crossings, North End Road, into Arundel, Oystercatcher junction) in conflict with NPPF paragraph 111 and the need for a plan to deal with these issues before a decision could be made; odour issues and the differing views of consultants; conservation issues and comments from Historic England; development not providing essential road link needed between A27 and A259

·       different modes of public transport – shuttle services between villages

·       the need for historical information relating to the site to be made available

·       whether the rail bridge at Ford should be a top priority and without it whether other improvement works would have limited impact


The Committee




That the application be DEFERRED to allow for further consideration of the trigger points of Heads of Terms of the Section 106 agreement and the odour assessments.

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