The Northern Arc located north of Burgess Hill in Mid-Sussex will be an exemplary new community that will support the wider economic, social and environmental vision for Burgess Hill and the wider district.
The site was acquired by Homes England in 2018 for strategic development to accelerate the delivery of much needed homes, jobs and infrastructure in the area.
Our master planning and town planning teams have been working closely with Homes England on this flagship scheme to provide a full range of multi-disciplinary services to this challenging but transformative project.
The site includes extensive areas of ancient woodland, river valleys, veteran trees, hedgerows and associated ecological assets. Other constraints include overhead powerlines, underground utilities, an odor contour associated with an adjacent sewage works, restrictive covenants limiting land uses on some parcels, as well as listed buildings, areas of steep topography and potential sensitivity to views from the South Downs National Park and the High Weald area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB).
Using our master planning methodology we prepared a site wide masterplan, infrastructure delivery plan and phasing strategy to for c.3,500 new homes, employment space, new schools, parks, open spaces and supporting facilities. Our approach enabled development parcels to be precisely defined early in the master planning process. The capacity of the residential and mixed-use areas were then established through a series of proving layouts using the housing mix defined by property consultancy, Montagu Evans and applying design and placemaking principles consistent with the UK Design Council’s Building for Life standard (BfL12).
Our initial work provided the basis for the submission of an outline planning application for the comprehensive development of the new community which was submitted within six months of Homes England’s acquisition of the site. By ensuring that the master planning was market facing, consistent with BfL12 and local planning policy we were able to prepare a financially viable master plan and secure its approval by the local planning authority and unlock the granting of outline planning permission for the first phase of development.
Our collaborative approach across multiple technical disciplines and ability to execute on deliverables the first-time round was key to successfully meeting a challenging program, securing local authority approval on the master plan and infrastructure delivery plan within three months and submitting a valid planning application within seven months.
Following the approval of the application, we are now advising Homes England on the design and delivery of early infrastructure including highway connections and a major bridge. Together with Homes England we have been able to progress and unlock a key site that has been stuck in pre-planning for over a decade. The Northern Arc has set an exemplary precedent for public sector intervention to accelerate housing delivery and has received praise from the Minister for Housing.
- Master planning and urban design