FORD villagers have backed proposals which could see up to 700 new homes built on the former Ford Airfield.
Around 100 residents attended a special meeting earlier this month and agreed that the draft plan for housing and community facilities, still at an early stage, should go forward for consultation with neighbouring parishes and Arun District Council.
The scheme has been worked on by an independent group drawing up Ford’s neighbourhood plan, with input from villagers, developers, landowners, the parish council and Arun planners.
Later this year, after further consultations, villagers will vote in a referendum on whether or not they support the final version of the neighbourhood plan.
Six years ago, Ford joined with neighbours Climping and Yapton to fight against Government plans for an Eco-Town of 5,000 homes on the airfield, but Ford Parish Council chairman Trevor Ford said his council accepted it was inevitable there would be some development on the former Second World War base. “What we don’t want, and this is what people in the village have said to us, is any more waste recovery and treatment sites, or incinerators,” he added.
“We want a little village. Let’s make it nice, and put it down for the benefit of the people living in Ford. It’s a prime site for someone to come along and do that.”
When details of the housing proposals were first revealed in May, 2013, developers told the parish council it could be in line for payments of up to £1.4million for community facilities. However, Mr Ford said this week the payment, known as community infrastructure levy, was unlikely to be so high, as the proposals could include self-build and social housing, which did not qualify for the funding.
The village would have to decide what it wanted to spend any money on, but things were still at an early stage and no shopping list had been drawn up.