THERE are calls for greater public consultation on the future of a former West Wight school site earmarked for new homes.
Freshwater Village Association is to hold a public meeting to debate not only Isle of Wight Council plans to demolish the former West Wight Middle School and build 50 houses on the 3.7 acre plot, but the future of the centre of the village including the two schools, sports centre, Ainsworth Court and playing fields.
The association is angry the proposed scheme would result in the loss of Camp Lodge playing field, while a claim of incorrect procedure has been levelled in relation to access across common land in front of the school.
In a statement released on Thursday, John Medland, association secretary, said: "Last June a consultation meeting was promised for the people of Freshwater. However, this consultation meeting never took place.
"The correct procedure to dispose of an asset created by the parish of Freshwater is to have a consultation with the present rate payers on any possible educational uses for large public property."
He said: "The land between the school and Queens Road is common land. The only consent that has been given by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for vehicles to pass over this land is for a bus turning circle, granted in 1977.
"Any new application for vehicle access should be made to the department and advertised."
Association members attended a planning meeting of Freshwater Parish Council last Tuesday, where councillors voiced similar concerns.
While not objecting to the outline planning application, the council agreed to write to the Isle of Wight Council raising a number of issues.
It was also announced at the meeting that the former West Wight Middle School playing field, which the parish council hope to take over, will be called Jubilee Field.
As previously reported, Spectrum Housing Group (SHG) is being treated by the Isle of Wight Council as a 'special purchaser’ for the former school site. Of the 50 houses proposed, 35 would be affordable homes.
A public meeting has been organised by the village association, to take place at Freshwater Parish Hall on Friday, starting at 7pm.