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Campaign for our Community

June 21 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Join us at 7pm on 21st June at Bembridge Village Hall
Q&A with Bob Seely M.P.

Our Island is currently facing a grave threat from an Isle of Wight Council 2018/19 consultation plan that represents a manifesto of destruction of our much loved Island character and landscape – with the proposed building of nearly 10,000 new homes in a 15 year period, destroying hundreds of acres of much-loved Island countryside and with no provisions for jobs, infrastructure or community balance. The IWC plan includes a provision for 180 homes in Bembridge, despite the objections of our community and Parish Council.

IWC is bending to pressure from National Government to accede to a plan which is flawed and not tied into our Island’s needs. The plan represents an assault on our democracy, removing community control of planning, notwithstanding the solid record of our Bembridge Parish Council for achievement of social objectives including delivery of half the Island’s stock of affordable housing over the past few years .Our MP Bob Seely shares the view that we need a new Island plan and has made this his #1 issue. Our communities are under time pressure to oppose
the IWC plan before it puts National targets ahead of community priorities Bob Seely MP will discuss how our Island communities can re-gain control of the development agenda. Bob is taking time to meet with villages across the Island, including Wellow, Brading, St Helens and others.

What would the currently proposed IWC plan mean?
o A massive increase in greenfield building, threatening the Island’s rural character and landscape forever
o Unprecedented pressure on our limited Island infrastructure, including roads, utilities, healthcare & education services
o A hugely imbalanced community – should the IWC plan go ahead, the Island would become one of the most demographically unbalanced counties in England by 2034 – with over 40% of the population over 60. This would place unprecedented strain on an already stretched social security and care system
o Damage to the Island’s tourism industry and wider economy

But isn’t there a housing crisis, and don’t Islanders need these new homes?
o The IWC plan claims to “reflect the needs of Islanders” and justifies the destruction of our landscapes to “deliver the housing we need”, but it is not for local people at all! The Island’s local population is in decline with c. 500 fewer Island births than deaths per year – meaning we don’t need massive development to serve local needs
o 9,615 new homes are actually planned to serve those looking to move from elsewhere in the UK – the forecasts that underlie the Plan’s housing target show demand for Island housing is driven by migration of off-Island retirees and others on social benefits

Can’t we just object to the wrong planning applications, and why do we need a whole new Island plan?
o It’s a myth that individuals, community groups, Parish or even the County Councils have the ability to object to a specific development if the wrong local plan is in place
o Developers and landowners have become most adept at holding councils hostage to their plans and forcing through development nobody else wants

What might a better Island plan look like?
o Our Island deserves a positive local plan that serves local needs – not external demand. The Island does not need and cannot cope with 9,615 new homes. Instead of chasing flawed targets, we need to decouple from the National Planning Policy Framework and develop a bespoke and positive local plan that:
o Serves local needs above external demand – focus on providing affordable housing for those already living here
o Listens to local views – residents, community groups and parish councils frequently object to large greenfield developments, but they are ignored
o Values the Island’s unique environment, landscapes and rural communities as worth defending – protecting only environmentally designated sites whilst otherwise building on green fields is not good enough
o Recognises that our Island deserves ”exceptional circumstances” – tying housing targets to investment in jobs and infrastructure, including, healthcare, education and transport

Please join us on June 21st at 7pm at the Bembridge Village Hall


June 21
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm