Overruling planning officers’ recommendation, the Isle of Wight Council’s planning committee earlier this week rejected the development of 6 detached homes, a mixture of bungalows and houses, on Baring Road.
Officers argued the dwellings would not have a ‘significant impact’ on the Jordan Valley and said it could be given conditional permission.
The site has been allocated for housing through the draft Island planning strategy and through pre-application discussions between the applicants and the planning authority, planning agents said the council was encouraging them to bring forward the right scheme.
An application for 6 houses was refused for the site previously, due to the housing mix and scale, which led to a new application for smaller homes.
The proposed scheme, planning agent Andrew White said, would not sit awkwardly into the valley, but follow the same boundary lines as the houses already on Baring Road.
Quoting the Planning Inspectorate, Mr White said the development would keep Cowes or Gurnard as separate entities.
Councillor Paul Fuller, for Cowes West and Gurnard, said Gurnard Parish Council’s Neighbourhood Plan was of significant importance in safeguarding the site. He said:
“The plan has so far worked well and mitigated against further losses of sites in Gurnard and the community remains hopeful the committee will not allow any further nibbling away of the green space between Cowes and Gurnard.
“I know officers will feel six units in this location will make little difference but this is six units on top of 230 permitted in Gurnard in the last ten years, all before the plan was adopted.”
Questioning the application, Councillor Vanessa Churchman, said:
“What on earth are we destroying a greenfield site for?”
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She queried who the dwellings would be sold to, saying not enough houses for people who already live on the Island were being built.
Councillor Richard Hollis said the development was an encroachment into the Valley and that he could not see the changes in the plans.
The application was rejected by the committee with 8 votes in favour and 2 abstentions.