In a report heading to the virtual meeting of the planning committee tomorrow (Tuesday), Isle of Wight planning officers have given their conditional approval and it now only needs councillors to agree.
2 planning applications, 1 involving the infrastructure of the site and the other submitting outline plans for the various buildings and use of the site, had been submitted by the Isle of Wight Council before the coronavirus pandemic began.
With the council’s finances in a precarious position and as part of its deficit reduction strategy, however, councillors voted to get planning permission but further enabling works would be halted for now.
If permission is granted by the committee the current greenfield 15 hectare site, which would be near to the 904-dwelling Pennyfeathers development, could see a mix of uses, both residential and commercial.
As one application is only outline permission, for now the access of the site would be granted but indicative drawings demonstrate the layout, design and scale of the proposed buildings and surrounding spaces.
The use of the site could provide a community hub, made of 4 buildings with space for a gym, GP surgery, pharmacy, community cafe and retail with 15 flats proposed to be affordable for key workers. There would also be office blocks, with a boardwalk between them and industrial style units for businesses.
Objections to the proposals came from 28 people and ranged from loss of greenfield and wildlife to the size not being right and it being poorly designed for cyclists. However, Ryde Town Council supported the plans and Natural England only asked for conditions relating to the drainage and landscaping.
Isle of Wight Distillery, a local business, also supported the plans saying the industrial units could stop them potentially moving some of their business to the mainland.
As part of the infrastructure a new roundabout could be added to Smallbrook Lane with pedestrian and cycle links, and a further junction could be added when the Pennyfeathers development is built and proposals to alter surrounding roads have been submitted.
Planning officers concluded the development would ‘comprise high quality buildings’, deliver a ‘significant level’ of employment space and not compromise protected species or habitats.
The report said:
“The proposals set out a high quality development that would foster economic development and deliver jobs within this area of Ryde, complementing the housing envisaged for this area.”
For the full planning application, relating to the infrastructure, 17 conditions have been added to the approval whereas 30 have been added to the outline plans which include approval of reserved matters and the submission of other planning documents.