Mr Turner has spoken by saying he had learnt from discussions with the Island’s planning chief Bill Murphy that the existence of the target of 520 dwellings per year to be built on the Island in the core strategy document made it much harder for the Council to turn down ‘inappropriate developments’ such as Pennyfeathers.
Andrew Turner added that he hoped that the Isle of Wight Council could find the grounds to turn it down.
Mr Turnersaid during the debate :
“To provide an example of certain problems, on the Isle of Wight the core strategy document sets out that we should have 520 new dwellings every year. It is not a secret that I think that is far too many, but it was not a decision for me to make; it was made, quite properly, by an elected council. However, it is now clear that the existence of that target may make it more difficult for the Isle of Wight council effectively to oppose inappropriate developments, such as Pennyfeathers, a proposal to develop a 55-hectare greenfield site just outside Ryde.”
Speaking last week, he said :
“I don’t want to over-simplify the issue – and it is not an easy matter to resolve. The target of 520 houses a year is based on evidence of need, so if it is to be re-visited we must make sure that the right evidence is taken into account. For instance, now that the Localism Act is in place it is much easier for Councils to make sure that social housing goes to those with a genuine local connection – and I know that councillors are working very hard to address this.
“Following the debate, the Planning Minister, Nick Boles MP has offered me a meeting to discuss the issues I raised and I am following that up.”
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UPDATE @ 17:30 – The Isle of Wight Council have revealed this afternoon that the 900-home development has been recommended for refusal ahead of a planning hearing next Tuesday.
Insufficient information to justify the potential ‘unacceptable’ impacts on the visual character of the area is listed as just one of the reasons behind the planning officer’s refusal recommendation.