REVIEW OF HOUSING AT SEACLOSE PARK AS PART OF TOWN’S REGENERATION REJECTED

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A review of the proposed housing on Seaclose Park — which could affect the Isle of Wight Festival — has been turned down by Isle of Wight councillors.

Plans to regenerate and transform Newport Harbour have come under fire recently due to the inclusion of housing on the entrance to Seaclose Park and the currently still standing, Fairlee Service Station.

Ward representative for Newport North, Cllr Matthew Price, has been calling for a change to the plans — removing more than 40 houses on the parkland — and wrote to the policy and scrutiny committee for neighbourhoods and regeneration asking for its support.

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Cllr Price said although he did not have any issues with the rest of the masterplan for Newport Harbour, he objected to the houses as he wished to preserve the ‘most important and widely used parkland on the Island’ and asked for an ‘open-minded review’ into whether the development was suitable.

He said:

“Building houses on this land will not make any meaningful contribution to our shared aspirations to transform Newport Harbour.

“I continue to engage with residents and businesses of Newport North who are united in their opposition to housing on Seaclose Park.

“Irrespective of what the consultation outcomes may suggest, there is zero public support in Newport or across the Island for this housing proposal.

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“It will cause irreversible damage to Seaclose, betraying this location for public recreational use, as it has been for generations.

“There is no doubt a residential development here would have an adverse effect on the Isle of Wight Festival. The festival must come into the equation when we talk about Seaclose Park.”

Cllr Julie Jones-Evans, the representative for Newport Central and member of the committee, said Cllr Price had her full support and proposed a review into the suitability of the proposed allocation of land at the entrance of Seaclose Park ahead of any cabinet decision on the masterplan. She said:

“We have to get this right — some housing would have been acceptable but the infill that we are getting isn’t.

“This is our major park and I have always said it needs to be shown as a gateway into Newport. It is a difficult balance. There is no harm in reflecting.”

Newport South representative, Cllr Shirley Smart, said she does not object to housing but the positioning on that housing needs to be looked at. She said:

“There are many brown and greenfield sites in and around Newport where we can put housing and be more suitable than here – I think it should be in a different place.”

However, director of regeneration, Chris Ashman, said the owner of Fairlee Service Station had ‘expressed an interest in collaborating with the project’  and argued the entrance to Seaclose was ‘informal green space at best’ and not protected by planning restrictions. He said:

“Members will be aware of the challenges we face with providing housing on the Island and these two sites, in particular, were identified as a priority with a housing association partner to deliver affordable housing for the people of Newport.

“So, I just caution again the committee’s views on the recommendation of the overall balance of the masterplan, the allocation of the units within it and the value of this particular site.”

Councillors on the regeneration committee were asked to vote on the proposed review into the housing but failed to garner the support need. Of the 5 councillors, Cllrs Jones-Evans and Smart were for the review, but Cllrs Brian Tyndall, Chris Quirk and Michael Beston, all from the ruling Conservative administration, voted against and the motion fell.

The Harbour Masterplan is currently at the stage of potentially being adopted and will go before the Isle of Wight Council cabinet in August.

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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Me me

More house for mainland people. ruined are parks and spaces why keep building it killing are island and are young will leave such a shame

Last edited 1 month ago by Me me
Calum Glenister

Island ruined now for the next generation thanks to greedy councillors and masse immigration forcing more homes to be built. Sadly they will soon be filled to capacity and then ruin the next green fields until nothing is left.

Anonymous

Our not are

Mark

If it stops Giddings from holding a worthless (talent-wise) festival, then bring it on.

JHVF

How can housing at the entrance to Seaclose be considered part of the Harbour regeneration ? It all smacks of vested interests. It’s disgraceful and should never have been proposed.

fedup

What else do you expect of this council? Typical. Get rid of the lot of them. Totally useless.

Simon Flack

As the owner of Fairlee Service Station I am not sure collaboration is a word I would use as I only found out about this project by seeing the plan on a leaflet handed out on the Quay. I then had to speak to Julie Jones-Evans who eventually got them to contact me. My comment to the developers was that they would need to offer a substantial incentive for me to move my business”

Gungadin

Will they have to if planning permission is passed, they can just compulsory purchase at market value.

oldbutalive

I quote “Members will be aware of the challenges we face with providing housing on the Island and these two sites, in particular, were identified as a priority with a housing association partner to deliver affordable housing for the people of Newport.”   Does this mean the houses being built at Pan are NOT affordable houses for Newport.   We keep on hearing the phrase, affordable housing. The majority of people on the Island can NOT afford these so called affordable houses.   If they do build on the garage site, will the tanks be properly drained and removed? Expensive… Read more »

oldbutalive

Found this on another site from the owner of Fairlee Service Station..   Simon Flack As the owner of Fairlee Service Station I am not sure collaboration is a word I would use as I only found out about this project by seeing the plan on a leaflet handed out on the Quay. I then had to speak to Julie Jones-Evans who eventually got them to contact me. My comment to the developers was that they would need to offer a substantial incentive for me to move my business”   Interesting is all i can say, make up your own… Read more »

New Ideas

Should be illegal to build on grassed public areas in town centres when there are empty and derelict buildings. Will be at some point in the future.

Clive HEATHFIELD

There is always a reason why the Isle of Wight Council rejects affordable housing ,
Could it be the Council will lose gratuities from the Isle of Wight festival ,this could be there reason for there rejection.
My concern also is the Council adamant for the St Mary’s roundabout to go ahead in the alteration ,could this be there plans to put housing on the closed down prison ,which can now be used as open parks or amenity land ,
What we do not want is more traffic attacking Coppings bridge .

fred black

everyone needs to object to these plans, “the owner of Fairlee Service Station had ‘expressed an interest in collaborating with the project” now wonder the owner wants to be in with these plans, look at the money he will get for his site for these houses/flats that will spoil such a well used park…Councillors think about the space for your residents and not the profits and the money the council will get from such a scheme as this.

captain

who said the houses would be for mainland people? and tell me, whats the difference in their money? can the council not spend their money as much as they can anyone else’s? the island is not self sufficient, with out external investment it would collapse. build a bridge and be done with all this nonsense

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