After an Islandwide consultation in 2018 and 2019, the Isle of Wight Council has made big changes to the proposed plan. The Draft Island Planning Strategy has a greater emphasis on the environment, with more policies aimed at environmental and sustainability issues than any other part of the plan.
In another major change, the planned number of houses to be built has been reduced by 25% from the previous draft, after new evidence and information was researched by the Isle of Wight Council. Suggested new ‘garden settlement areas’ have been removed from the plan entirely, and there is a reduction in proposed building on some greenfield sites. The result is that in the new draft plan only around 1% of the Island is allocated for residential and employment land.
James Brewer is one of the council’s planning staff who has been working to prepare the draft Island Planning Strategy. He explains:
“It’s a big day for us to get this latest draft out for people to see.
“We listened to what the community told us in the last consultation and that really changed the way we approached some aspects of the plan.
“Although there’s an uncertain national picture in planning, I feel this plan is better, more robust and aims to solve real island issues that the community told us about.
“We have drafted a plan that should help provide the right homes in the right places on the Island.
“I would love Island residents to get involved now the consultation is open, because we want to know what everyone thinks of this. It’s worth taking a look at the new plan: comments now could affect the way we live on the Isle of Wight for the next fifteen years and beyond. “
Councillor Paul Fuller, portfolio holder for planning and housing, said:
“Planning is not just about deciding on individual cases. Every now and again there is a chance to make some big decisions, and the Island Planning Strategy is one of them.
“We know that people overwhelmingly rejected the housing numbers in the last draft plan, and the new council is determined to address this. We have listened and responded to that feedback.
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“We’re doing a longer consultation than we have to, 50% longer than the legal requirement. This will allow local councils and residents to be part of the consultation process.
“I hope everybody will take the time to read the new draft, and pass on their thoughts, because even this latest draft is not the final version and changes can be made – be assured we will be listening.”
You can download the Draft Island Planning Strategy here.