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Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely has launched an online consultation to gather opinions about the Island Plan that sets out future development on the Isle of Wight.

Bob has said he opposes the plan in its present form because it includes a Government-imposed target of building 9,000 extra homes.

As well as the consultation, Mr Seely has set up a petition against the Island Plan in support of house-building for Islanders in smaller numbers that will protect our environment and quality of life.

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Speaking about his consultation, Bob has today (Friday) said:

“This is an important document that really sets out the future for the Island and I would very much like to hear what my constituents think about it.

“The plan has some good proposals in it but the issue of housing numbers is crucial and I have several concerns, not least that this housing would be unaffordable for Islanders.

“We need affordable homes for people who live here, not large-scale developments for the south east housing market.

“I will be working with our strong Council team to see if we can present to Government a different approach to house-building that makes sure that we build housing for Islanders and also do so in more modest numbers that protects our quality of life and visitor economy.

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Mr Seely has gone on to say:

“The Government target is simply undeliverable due to the lack of Island building capacity. We do not have the infrastructure to cope with such an increase. There is also no doubt, in my view, that large-scale housebuilding will damage our landscape, quality of life and the Island’s tourism and visitor economy.

“Finally, by accepting targets we cannot fulfil, the council leaves itself vulnerable to developers to force Greenfield development.”

Both the consultation and petition can be accessed at https://islandvision.uk/islandplan/.

UPDATE @ 12:30 – Isle of Wight Council leader Dave Stewart has welcomed an online consultation seeking views on future housing numbers for the Island.

He described the initiative from MP Bob Seely as “a valuable extra source of opinion and feedback” to sit alongside the formal consultation on the Island’s new planning blueprint.

Cllr Stewart has said in a statement:

“It is vital we have a valid and broad representation of local views to present to the government – and that our new Island Planning Strategy accurately reflects all the key issues including housing need, homelessness, affordability, suitability of location, market forces etc.

“We have more than 2,000 people on our housing register and nearly 200 families in temporary accommodation at any one time; we do need to find a sustainable way of supporting these members of our community into their own homes.

“There is clearly a need for the right type and number of homes in the right places, for Islanders.”

He added:

“The economic challenges of building homes for rent on the Island are clear to us and we need to collectively find new and innovative approaches to overcoming this key issue.

“We will be working closely with the MP and other key stakeholders to achieve what is right for this Island of ours – which naturally we all wish to see protected while meeting the future needs of our population.”

Councillor Stewart said there had been extensive consultation on the new Island Planning Strategy – in which the proposal was for an average of 641 new homes per year over its 15 year lifespan…

“We are now at the stage of considering feedback on the strategy – and clearly it is vital that our submission to government is strongly evidence-based.

“As we are an Island, the issue of future housing numbers is a particularly sensitive subject, and we are dealing with this matter and the related discussions with government as an absolute priority”.

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.
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Laine Patty
Laine Patty

I’ve signed the petition, even though my home town of Ryde is missing from the list ! Not amused.

ALEX Watson
ALEX Watson

My son and I abhor the idea of yet more houses being built on the Isle of Wight. The whole idea of having such a beautiful and green place to live is to KEEP IT GREEN AND BEAUTIFUL, not fill it with even more estates. Let’s hope there are enough people like my son and myself who wish to keep this island from becoming a “concrete jungle!” Please, please, if there are still islanders who are not sure of how they feel, I just ask them to imagine just how they would feel if the beauty of this island was lost.

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