Marina land decision put back

By Emily Pearce

Sunday, March 16, 2014

 

A DECISION to lease a strip of land at East Cowes seafront, enabling access to a proposed marina, has been deferred by the IW Council after concerns by a conservation group.

Members of the IW Society, who quizzed councillors at the property disposals committee over plans to grant a 125-year lease to the Homes and Communities Agency, were reassured the land could not be developed and public access would be maintained.

However, their plea to charge more than a peppercorn rent, because it was required for a multi-million pound project, was dismissed by economy, tourism and leisure services boss, John Metcalfe.

He said: "It’s touch and go for the marina developer whether it will make any money. It would be difficult to add onerous conditions, making it unattractive to a developer. The marina is central to the wider regeneration of East Cowes and it can’t be developed without this land."

Ward councillor Luisa Hillard said: "The majority of residents are very supportive of this marina going ahead, they are excited about the economic benefits it will bring.

"If it didn’t go ahead, it would be to the detriment of East Cowes."

The committee deferred the decision to next month’s cabinet meeting.

Councillors approved the £325,000 sale of Oak House, Newport, to the Earl Mountbatten Hospice, to provide services for children and young people.

They also agreed to sell a £180,000 parcel of land at Lowtherville Industrial Estate, Ventnor, to the Island Free School. The new school will be built on the site of the former St Margaret’s Primary School.

Reporter: emilyp@iwcpmail.co.uk

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