INNOVATIVE COUNCIL PARTNERSHIP BRINGS NEW BEGINNING FOR BRANSTONE FARM

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Work has begun to demolish redundant farm buildings in preparation for the first phase of a project at the Isle of Wight Council’s former Branstone Farm Studies Centre at Apse Heath. 

A range of Island businesses and organisations has been involved in creating a new £13.6 million scheme including affordable housing,  an outdoor education area, new green space, a rural business park area, and a new brewery and visitor centre for Goddard’s Brewery.

Nature and sustainability are at the heart of this flagship regeneration scheme which the Isle of Wight Council and its partners hope will serve as an exemplar for future development on the Island.

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Inspired by the Isle of Wight Biosphere declaration in 2019, a group of organisations including Vectis Housing Association, the council’s regeneration team, the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce and other local partners have secured funding and planning consents to begin the creation of a new rural area where the Biosphere principles of live, work and play can come to life.

With a focus on the Isle of Wight’s Biosphere, about half of the farm site will become a new public green space which will be open to all, and include hedges, new woodland, ponds and an outdoor education area. This will continue the tradition of education on the farm, which was established by the then Isle of Wight County Council as the Branstone Farm Studies Centre in 1973.

The Isle of Wight AONB Partnership has been leading on the Isle of Wight Biosphere, and will be one of the first organisations to be based in the new Branstone Farm project.

With demolition commencing now, construction will continue for about 2 years.

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Finance for the work has come from the partners and from national funds, with nearly £4 million coming from Homes England and the Solent LEP.

The business park will be built near the road, with the housing area further back in the quieter rural part of the site, and the new brewery and visitor centre at the western edge of the farm. The first affordable homes, and some of the business units are expected to be ready for occupation in 2022.

Cabinet member for regeneration and business development, Councillor Wayne Whittle, said:

“We know that around a quarter of all Island families struggle to find a suitable home of the right size in the right location.

“This key regeneration project will show how we are putting this right, not only by creating genuinely affordable housing to meet local needs, but also by using our beautiful Island landscape to make a sustainable rural community that respects and supports our Biosphere designation.”

Martyn Pearl, chief executive of Vectis Housing Association, added:

“This partnership of the local authority, the housing association, and private partners has proved to be very fruitful one.

“Planning permission for this project was achieved within 12 months of the start point, which goes to show that when we work together, we on the Isle of Wight are able to deliver much-needed housing in a prompt and efficient manner.

“I hope that this successful way of working will be used as a model for other developments on the Island and elsewhere.”

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
14 Comments
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Alan
Alan
3 months ago

Well welcoming the idea of these plans, could someone say what price the houses will be, to make them affordable to local people on average Island income?

J D
J D
Reply to  Alan
3 months ago

£189,786

J D
J D
3 months ago

speak for yourself. anyone is welcome here who is legally permitted to live here.

freeloaders
freeloaders
Reply to  J D
3 months ago

no they are not JD – tell you what, how about you let all of them live next door to you and ensure that any greenland has prefabs shoved on it, as well as let all the Lying asylum seekers on benefits live in the same place as you, as well – then see if you do not move somewhere else.

J D
J D
Reply to  freeloaders
3 months ago

any immigrant is welcome to live next door to me. I would certainly rather an immigrant than a racist like yourself.

Treesa
Treesa
Reply to  J D
3 months ago

I totally agree, JD. Racists get a buzz from saying ‘immigrants’, which depersonalises groups of people, as though the’re not human ‘like us’. That makes it easy to go down the road the N a z i s did. A lesson from history, so easily forgotten.

Derek
Derek
3 months ago

You obviously haven’t been following this application. I suggest you read the application documents and the planning consent including conditions before you make such inaccurate statements.

Chris
Chris
3 months ago

Innovative for someone’s back pocket!!!

rodney burt
rodney burt
3 months ago

GOOD LUCK

Oldbutalive
Oldbutalive
3 months ago

I wonder what will happen if and when the business park fails.
There are so many business units dotted round the island that have been empty for years.

Turned into more houses?

Nipper
Nipper
3 months ago

Believe its going to be called ”Spanners close, mark 2”

roger everyone
roger everyone
3 months ago

It’s quite ironic after brexit you would think promoting and teaching farming might be important. So we don’t have to rely on expensive imports. We need to be farming and growing here. It’s a good chance for farmers to actually make some money for once.

JHVF
JHVF
3 months ago

Business Park possibly, Houses no, certainly not before more health care facilities are provided for this overcrowded island. Will the authorities ever understand ?

Old Mike
Old Mike
Reply to  JHVF
3 months ago

I’m all in favour of the brewery though.

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