Abri and Vistry Group to deliver 1,500 homes on former Ford airfield

Abri and Vistry Group have entered into a JV to acquire the former Ford airfield in West Sussex, with plans to transform the site into 1,500 new homes.

The major development will provide 50% affordable housing, in a mix of shared ownership, first homes and rented tenures, with Ford Community Land Trust having first right of refusal on the affordable housing delivered via the Section 106 agreement.

The open-market homes will be sold using Vistry Group’s retail housebuilding brands Linden Homes, Bovis Homes and Countryside Homes.

Alongside the new homes, the site will be transformed to provide a 60-bed care home, a new local centre with commercial and retail uses, almost 1,500 sq m of new community and leisure space, land for a new primary school and extensive public open spaces including new sports pitches and allotments.

£35m in section 106 contributions will be invested into the local community, with significant funds allocated to Littlehampton Rugby Club, Climping Cricket pitch and a new sports hall in Angmering, helping to improve local sports provision.

Approximately £1.8m will be allocated to healthcare provision to support the new community.

A period of public consultation is set to commence this spring, with work expected to commence next year subject to planning approval.

Gary Orr, group CEO at Abri, said: “This transformative development will provide many hundreds of new, quality affordable homes, as well as new services and facilities for the local community.

“By working in a JV with Vistry, we’ve unlocked the full potential of the site, making sure it delivers the best outcomes for the community.

“We want to play our role tackling the nation’s housing crisis and Ford airfield will contribute significantly to Abri’s commitment to build 10,000 homes by 2030, whilst we will reinvest any surplus to improve existing homes and services, invest in communities and continue to build more affordable housing.”

Stephen Teagle, CEO at Countryside Partnerships (part of Vistry Group), said: “We have a well-established, long-term relationship with Abri and Ford airfield perfectly supports our strategy of delivering a significant number of mixed-tenure homes with affordable housing partners.

“Through our JV, we’re able to increase the level of affordable housing across the whole site from the 30% planning requirement to 50%, which will have a major impact on West Sussex’s affordable housing supply.”

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