Public gets say over new Pennyfeathers plan

By Richard Wright

Monday, June 30, 2014


A PUBLIC open day will help shape a new planning application for Pennyfeathers, a developer has pledged.

After the Isle of Wight Council in November unanimously threw out the 904-home application for the land on the outskirts of Ryde, the applicant is carrying out fresh consultation.

As part of that, a public open day is being staged at Ryde School on Saturday, July 12, from 10am to 2pm. The open day is being staged to explain why an appeal against the decision was not lodged, the developer instead shaping a new application.

Planning consultant Glen Hepburn, said: "This is another chance for people to get involved meaningfully in directing the design of this terrific opportunity to bring much-needed housing to this designated regeneration area.

"The previous refusal was based, not on principle, but a lack of information, which it is now our target to provide.

"In essence, we are working with the planning authority, Natural England and local experts in ecology, landscape and archaeology.

"We have not finalised plans but welcome any steer from the public. Experts will be available to field questions and debate."



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by Don Prescott

2nd July 2014, at 09:55:52

@ David B,
Thanks for that, although I'm sure there are some who would disagree.

This is a really serious issue
Leaving aside things like overstretched schools, doctors surgeries, only 1 hospital treating an ever increasing population etc, but most of all, no realistic chance of gainful employment, we still come back to the trickery used by developers to "get a result".

What they do (and are allowed to do, as Rog said) is to keep making application after application until they wear down any opposition. The Law needs changing!

In this case NOT submitting all of the information required.
So, instead of following due process and going to Appeal (which they know they would have lost), they try this trick of further "consulting".

It is similar to the European Union, who "consulted" the Irish, but when the Irish did not give the desired outcome, they "consulted" again until they got the "right" answer.
Do NOT be fooled!

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by roger mazillius

2nd July 2014, at 08:25:31

B.Lane, fair enough.
I accept your point about the scale of Pennyfeathers but think you would agree that larger developments bring benefits of scale and also allow the local authority to gain infrastructure/community benefits because of the high development value.
At some time over the next say 20 years some radical changes are going to have to be made to build the homes needed to house the expanded population.
There are many studies which show the economic and family benefits of good housing stock, especially for those on lower incomes and of course good supplies of housing aids community mobility for jobs and education.
All of this is not rocket science and the expectations of the school leavers of today and in the future have to be anticipated by us all.
Most of us live in homes built on greenfield sites over the last 40-80 years to meet demand. Nothing has changed except perhaps the ability of established residents to complain about more development.

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by David Blackford

2nd July 2014, at 06:46:02

I much preferred to talk about time warps - far more interesting.
Did anyone see the Titanic sail up the Solent recently?

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by B Lane

1st July 2014, at 22:18:17

Roger, we'll have to agree to differ on this, I'm afraid that after a lifetime in the construction industry I have possibly a jaundiced view of Spec builders/developers & Estate Agents most of whom will trample you to get to the trough.

However my earlier point remains unanswered, why if we need these homes can they not be spread around the Island, I'm fully aware that suggesting anything other than a shed gets built in West Wight is grounds to be tarred & feathered but surely 900 houses spread out over 10 or 12 sites is better than putting all of them in one place, Ryde is almost connected to Wootton on one side & Seaview on another, if this is allowed to go ahead whats to stop building on the remaining open spaces around Ryde?

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by roger mazillius

1st July 2014, at 17:36:45

B.Lane, yes prices are affected by mainland retirees but to deal with the present "affordable" local demand, the planning/housing authority must work with large scale developers to set a high percentage of affordable homes in each development.
The Pan scheme acknowledged this by creating several hundred affordable homes over a 5 year build. When the economy is poor or stagnant, deals are readily available in the private sector, especially for new build where developers are under pressure from their lenders to meet strict repayment targets.
Think of the last five years and outside of London and perhaps some of the major regional capitals, development almost ground to a halt or homes were only being built "to order".
It is imo possible to bring sensible pricing policies to bear on developers keen to build with the support of the planning/housing authority.
The Island has the land and the demand so if commonsense prevails, it could happen here!

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by B Lane

1st July 2014, at 16:29:38

I'm still struggling with the concept of a developer bringing house prices down by building cheaper homes, any development regardless of size is profit driven, one of the main reasons the Island is so attractive to the spec building market is the high price of property.

As I have said before the price of houses here is inflated by the retirement market and always has been, Mr & Mrs Smith from the home counties decide to retire here, sell at the high end of the market and come looking for a house with cash to spend and prices that are significantly lower than they are used to so they can afford to offer the asking price (or higher) this leads to the high cost of property we have now. This has been happening since I was in short trousers and it will carry on happening, helping to price out many Islanders. Unless you can force the developer to limit his prices to an affordable level Pennyfeathers will be no different.

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by roger mazillius

1st July 2014, at 16:06:57

Don, I must comment that as far as I know, there is no limitation on how many times an applicant for planning permission can apply if they have large purses. Frequently, applicants re-apply, often to meet public concerns about an earlier proposal or to satisfy planning officer's concerns about earlier attempts.
There are around 68,000 homes on the Island occupying less than 10% of the land mass. At present around new 500 homes are built each year and at that rate say it would take around 120 years to double that 68,000. Due to modern development densities that increase would take less than the existing number so the probabliity is that the total land used by existing and new would be approx 15% of the total land mass and that by 2134! More homes needed before then!
Talk about that time warp David!
B.Lane, the 1/3 profit usually applies to very small easy to develop plots. With modern "infrastructure" contributions around 10% is the usual profit.

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by Pop Camplin

1st July 2014, at 14:24:56

As an aside I've just noticed on their website an answer to a question 'what will happen to the wildlife' it reads 'Enhanced. Key to the development is a need to interrogate the existing wildlife and habitat on the site' so....thumbscrews and the rack for the local badgers and squirels and hedges then !

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by Pop Camplin

1st July 2014, at 14:00:42

I think the call for 'we need more housing' needs looking at properly, as in do we need more housing for Islanders or do we mean more housing so that we can 'import' people from the mainland.We need to look at existing housing projects like Pan 1 and 2 and why, if they are not anywhere near full, do we need to build more ?

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by Mark Jones

1st July 2014, at 12:29:28

It is a balance though isn't it? More homes are needed, and if there are lots of houses on the market, the prices WILL come down making them more affordable, this is exactly what happens when trying to sell a house already built, or even a car. Anything will sell for a price, classic case of supply and demand.
Maybe this isn't the right place or the right scale, but hopefully Mr Hepburn will have the sense to put forward all of the information this time so we can see (I do wonder why it was held back previously though)
No offence meant Don, just don't think I have agreed with you before (now, if it was MC I would be scared!)

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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