Members Newsletter - January 2023
Illustrative Masterplan Reserved Matters Oct 2022

Dear Arundel CLT Member


Happy New Year!  A lot has happened since our last Member update in October.

New Year – New Members for ACLT

We are starting this newsletter with a plea to ask you to approach friend and neighbours to join ACLT. We have gradually grown our membership to 91 shareholders since we set up as a Community Benefit Society in 2019 but it has been disappointing to have no new membership applications to approve at the last two board meetings.

Please make it one of your New Year Resolutions to get one or two people to join in the coming weeks. The Application Form can be downloaded here

Ford Road project

The project is proceeding through Arun District Council’s planning process. We made various comments on the ‘Reserved Matters’ planning documents which Esquire had submitted, and, were pleased that, by the Christmas break, a number of beneficial modifications to the proposals had been made.  We have no news about when Arun District Council will make a formal decision but the JV partners are now suggesting site work could start June 2023.

Since the October newsletter, CLT Directors have had useful meetings with the Joint Venture (JV) partners – Esquire Developments and Fitzalan Estate (the company with the Norfolk Estate which owns the land).  We also made a presentation to Arundel Town Council’s Planning Committee. There is a lot to like in the scheme:


  • The landowner, the Norfolk Estate regard this as a ‘legacy’ scheme -  they are committed to what is there after the ‘developer’ hands over at the end of the construction period.  Esquire are a  quality house-builder with green credentials.  The Estate have indicated they will use covenants which could help address issues raised during the consultation. 
  • More affordable housing for local people: there will be 20 new Social Rent homes and 7 Shared Ownership homes, allocated in line with Arundel CLT’s Local Lettings Policy.  Work is in progress to modify the estate layout so the Shared Ownership and Social Rent homes are distributed more evenly in clusters on the site. This makes the north-east corner of the development less dense, improves the parking arrangements, and makes a better mix of private/subsidised housing than the original proposal. The estate will be ‘design-blind’ – it will not be obvious to external viewer which homes are private, which are Social Rent.  The affordable homes will be smaller than the market units but the space standards meet national specifications which, our Registered Provider partner, Aster, tell us is better than some other developments (which go below Nationally Described Space Standards).
  • New public realm - half of the site will be a new amenity for everyone, not just residents on the new estate: discussions are proceeding positively, with strong signals from the JV partners of their commitment to working with community members involved in the Community Forest project.  Also, there are representations from South Downs National Park to provide a more meaningful wildlife corridor and buffer to the development by additional planting along the northern part of the western boundary.  Many biodiversity boxes are already ‘ticked’ and we are told the ‘net biodiversity gain’ score will be high.
  • Arundel Town Council Planning Committee had a useful discussion about the scheme and submitted comments about clustering/pepper potting the affordable homes. We understand that Arun District Council have also raised concerns on this and a new layout master plan may arise where the affordable homes are more distributed across the site. Also in their response, ADC, put welcome emphasis on the Construction Management Plan and asked that no construction vehicles should enter or leave the site from the northern end of Ford Road.  (This is an important issue with construction works on Gas Works site now predicted to coincide with the development ACLT is involved with).

Commercial negotiations between Esquire and our Registered Provider, Aster, have been protracted. We are told they are nearing conclusion but not yet there.  We were pleased to welcome Lizzie Clarke, Development Manager for Community Housing to our December board meeting and we are grateful to Aster for their continuing contribution to what remains ‘at risk’ work until financial and other terms of finalised.

Attention now turns to setting up the Steering Group of key partners in the development, including ACLT, to guide and inform things from hereon. An early issue for the Steering Group will be to get a handle on Service Charges.  This will be a sensitive issue for those eligible for the affordable homes, since, by definition they will have low financial resources.  Also, the extent of the public realm open space within the development, means the traditional model of the estate residents being responsible through a ‘closed’ Management Company, could make it difficult to manage the various interests involved.


Future projects


The board is giving thought to what our next project might be.   The current cost of living crisis and economic situation reminds us all of the continuing importance of truly affordable housing for Arundel. The consultations about the development off Ford Road gave rise to many people commenting on the importance of ‘brownfield’ development. Within Arundel’s Neighbourhood Plan, there are brownfield sites allocated for housing and these is the direction we are now turning our attention to.


AGM – Thursday 15 June 2023

Please note the date in your diary now.

With all our best wishes for 2023

ACLT Directors