UPDATED: The controversial Pennyfeathers development on the outskirts of Ryde has been given the green light tonight (Tuesday) as the Isle of Wight Council planning committee approve outline planning permission for the site off Brading Road.
Following years of planning and previously rejected applications, Pennyfeathers Property Company Ltd have been granted outline permission to build some 904 homes, a brand new primary school for up to 450 children, a new car garage, commercial units, a community centre, a sports building, structural landscaping and play areas on land between Brading Road and Smallbrook in Ryde.
Islanders can expect significant changes to the highways surrounding the site, with a new main road leading through the heart of Pennyfeathers connecting with a roundabout on an upgraded Brading Road. The Westridge Cross junction will also be improved and Smallbrook Lane closed to traffic.
The planning committee voted in favour of the application with 6 votes to 3, on the condition that £2.3million is contributed to the local education budget and that £140,000 is gifted for improvements at Smallbrook Stadium. Island building firms will be given priority over mainland contractors for the building of the Pennyfeathers site.
Over the next 4 years Islanders can expect to see;
• Up to 382 properties built
• The widening of Brading Road to create ‘Brading Boulevard’
• A new roundabout installed at Cothey Way (main access to the site)
• The building of a new Westridge Garage with demolition of the current building
• Improvements to Westridge Cross
• The creation of ‘The Avenue’ (the main road into Pennyfeathers)
• A new railway bridge built at Smallbrook (or widened)
• A link road built between ‘New Smallbrook Lane’ and Great Preston Road
• The creation of a cycleway and footpath through to Harding Shute
Within a further four years, up until 2023, another 296 properties would be built with more footpaths put in place and the creation of commercial buildings. By 2027 – just 12 years away – there would be a further 226 properties built with more commercial buildings.
Over 300 homes – 35% – will be affordable social housing, helping ease pressure on the Island’s housing register.
UPDATE WEDNESDAY: Glen Hepburn of Hepburns Planning Consultancy Ltd, lead consultant for Pennyfeathers, has said that work could begin on the site as early as September 2016, just 12 months away.
In a statement issued this morning, Mr Hepburn said:
“Quite clearly, Outline Planning Permission has been granted subject to a Section 106 Legal Agreement and we are all very happy with the outcome at Hepburns Planning. The Pennyfeathers project started some 9 years ago and now we have reached this stage, we can go forward to the next phase of the development process – Implementation of the Permission.
“It will take a few weeks to sign the Legal Agreement and often a three month period is set aside to see if there is any additional information that may be required. At this stage, we will be preparing a detailed application with a view to submission in the New Year for the first phase.
“The first phase is the most difficult as virtually all the Infrastructure has to be put in place. This should go forward in a timely manner of say 4 – 6 months for the application to be determined so some works may commence in September 2016.
“Because of the need to service loans etc. there will be an urgency to carry this out as soon as possible and therefore, our role over the next few weeks will be all hands on deck to line everything up.”
Meanwhile Planning Committee chairman, Cllr Julia Baker-Smith, has said:
“This stage is an outline consent, with a range of conditions for this major application – and there will need to be further detailed applications for the various phases of the project, which will be considered by planning officers and the Planning Committee.
“At each stage of the detailed applications, further full and proper planning analysis will take place and full consideration will be given to all related issues.”