APPROVAL OF BIRCH CLOSE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT ‘A BLOW TO THE ISLAND’

The approval of a controversial housing development in Freshwater has been branded a ‘blow to the Island’.

Last week, the Isle of Wight Council’s planning committee struggled to find a sustainable reason to refuse the 44-unit development at Birch Close, in Colwell, which would hold up against a challenge to the Planning Inspectorate.

Ultimately the application was approved, 7 votes to 5, with 14 of the units marked for affordable, social rent.

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However, during the meeting passionate objectors pleaded with the committee to turn down the application, citing a number of reasons why the development would be bad for the area.

One objector, Huw Jenkins, said the scheme would be a crime against the environment as the sewer system was already ‘frequently overwhelmed’ with nearly 50 overflows released into Totland and Colwell Bay since January.

Since the permission was approved, the committee has faced criticism for its decision, including from campaign group Sustainable Freshwater, which expressed extreme disappointment at the ‘lack of foresight’ in the council’s decision.

The Island’s MP Bob Seely also said the outcome was disappointing and frustrating. He said:

“It is a blow to all the residents who opposed the development and a blow to all the Island as another of our green fields is lost.

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Mr Seely said the Isle of Wight Council’s new Island Planning Strategy could not come forward quickly enough, as it sets out new policies for approval of developments and calls for a smaller housing delivery target. He said the Island needed a plan that delivered new, genuinely affordable housing in the right places, ‘where communities and the environment are given much greater consideration’.

Mr Seely said:

“I will continue my work, both on the Island and in Westminster, to fight against greenfield developments like this.

“I continue to work with other MPs to press the government to help make brownfield development a more attractive option than greenfield.”

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The MP has called on the Isle of Wight Council to ensure brownfield sites are prioritised for the building of new affordable houses for Islanders.

The council has recently been given £950,000 by the government to develop 3 brownfield sites across the Island for housing, although the authority says it may only yield around 70 houses.

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Miss sensible
Miss sensible
6 days ago

The concrete jungle is coming!!!!
Rabbit hutches guinea pig hutches!!!!!
And fat cat profits for many …..
Children of the future won’t know about wildlife because there won’t be any !!!!!!
And take out private health care ,because that’s the only way to ensure you will get treatment in the future ……..
Our infrastructure is doomed ….
Hope planning is very Happy!!!!!!
Killing the island for what ????
B E ……

Tleaf
Tleaf
6 days ago

Only yield 70 houses? Are they going to pocket the rest for one of their jollies? Ffs stop building on our greenfields we’re going to sink under all this concrete and drown from the flooding it’ll cause

Hope Springs
Hope Springs
6 days ago

Mr Seedy “will continue to work”. Really? Time to get started, perhaps.

If IW Council Planning Committee knew they could rely on Seedy’s backing (as opposed to his toeing the party line when it comes to the crunch) they might have been more ready to challenge the Planning Inspectorate.

Smell the coffee
Smell the coffee
6 days ago

At some point in the future greenfield will receive protection status. I don’t think it will happen with this government headed by Boris ‘Build and Grow’ Johnson. Until that point developers will be developers.

Miss sensible
Miss sensible
Reply to  Smell the coffee
6 days ago

There won’t be any greenfields left so don’t worry about that !!!!!
Soon the Island will have 1 postcode !!!!!
The Giant Jigsaw of concrete will not stop until every rabbit /guinea pig hutch has destroyed our island ….
Goodbye tourism no one will want to visit anymore…..
Take up building that’s all the work that will be available until the Jigsaw is complete!!!!!!.

Andy
Andy
6 days ago

People need affordable housing. The South of England, including the Isle of Wight, has a disproportionate number of green fields, as people, apart from the privileged, live in cramped, overcrowded housing. It is my belief, although not proven by Science, that our appalling national Corona Virus figures are partly due to the squalid conditions people are living in. With proper planning and infrastructure, there can be plenty of green fields and decent housing. Unfortunately, not one Government has bothered to implement this and as such, we have continual conflict, caused by environmental issues, infrastructure issues and selfishness!

truthsout
truthsout
Reply to  Andy
6 days ago

“The South of England, including the Isle of Wight, has a disproportionate number of green fields”

It’s not very often I am at a loss for words……..

Oakwood
Oakwood
Reply to  Andy
6 days ago

No it’s because we are too overcrowded in my view & it’s usually people from the North of our Country with these views !

Catherine Johnson
Catherine Johnson
6 days ago

I find it odd that a quick search on Rightmove throws up over 100 properties on the market in the price bracket up to around £150,000 and 500 or so more if you go for a higher price threshold. Some of these properties (these are apartments, flats, terrace houses etc, not necessarily mobile homes) have been on the market for several months. So, where’s the market for all these new homes that are being built because it’s certainly not here at the moment or the existing ones would be getting snapped up? Or are we expecting a lot of new arrivals?

Sunshine
Sunshine
6 days ago

They won’t listen to the ‘no we don’t want this development’ The island is slowly going to be ruined with over development. No mention of facilities, road infrastructure, At Mary’s Hospital, GP surgeries, Dentists…. nothing about this at all. As for the sewage issues and drainage system cannot cope as it is. This lovely island will be ruined. There’s P Feath and West A”cre at Ryde to start yet, nearly another 1,800 homes are going to be built.

isle of wighter
isle of wighter
6 days ago

Perhaps the actual planning committee members need a chat about their disregard for the environment and the infrastructure and encouraged to change their ways or leave their jobs.

Jonathan
Jonathan
6 days ago

Word on the street was everyone disapproved of this…?! Asking questions to how many brown envelopes went out. Disgusting.
These developers want be happy until every square inch of land is concreted.

Sir Digby Chicken Caesar
Sir Digby Chicken Caesar
6 days ago

Seely can spout on as much as he likes, no one believes this fool at all, he is just saying one thing and doing as Boris’s Army is telling him. I wouldn’t worry about the sea of concrete now, once the drainage collapses and covers it with sewage, they will be happy, and of course with one hospital, there will be nowhere to get treated for all those nasty sewage based illnesses either. All that will be left in the future is a large brown puddle just off Portsmouth where the Island used to be. The only good point to that is, no more ferry companies ripping anyone off anymore.

 

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