Outline plans for a development on land near Nettlestone Hill and Seaview have been passed at a meeting of the Isle of Wight Council’s planning committee.
However, the proposal must now include “appropriate affordable accommodation” on the site, instead of proposed sheltered housing units, after an eleventh-hour revision by Councillor Geoff Brodie.
The site is 1.26 hectares of land, between Nettlestone Hill and Seaview Lane. The outline scheme called for an unspecific number of units.
Those opposed to the plans said greenfield land would be lost and they criticised nearby Nettlestone Primary, because the scheme included a plan for overflow parking during school hours. Telling the meeting the request was “shameful”, the residents’ association argued that children needed to be taught to respect the environment.
Councillor Vanessa Churchman said she believed the car park was a quarter of a mile walk away. She told the meeting “You must be joking!” and said she would vote against it. However, when the proposal was amended during a confused meeting, Councillor Churchman was inadvertently among six who passed the scheme, while three opposed it.
Councillor Matthew Price asked to link the parking to the school and suggested committee members impose restrictions on the height of the buildings.
Developers said the plan was appropriate and claimed the parish council has changed its mind over the proposal.
Isle of Wight Councillor Reg Barry, who represents Seaview, said it should be refused and argued two previous attempts to “develop this beautiful greenfield site” had been turned down.
The Isle of Wight Council’s planning department said the applications that were turned down had been submitted in the 1990s, when different rules were in place, and argued the current plans showed significant differences. Its officers had recommended the scheme for approval.
Fears were raised over a nearby badger sett. Isle of Wight Council planning officers said an application would need to be made for a replacement artificial sett.