From Cllr Karl Love, East Cowes:

Only after Bob Seely sees the number of objections and concerns being expressed by his own constituents does he take the initiative to resist government plans to build large numbers of houses on our Island.

Fifty per cent of our Island is in an area of outstanding natural beauty, which means the majority of any new building will be squeezed into existing urban areas.

If you Google how many houses are for sale you will see a staggering 1,755. Ryde, for example, has 312, Newport 217, Cowes 175.

The Island has a healthy property market. We should, therefore, only be building properties which enable access to the housing market where we have a social need.

We do need some improved social housing and housing which can enable young people and families to purchase their first homes.

However, if you take a look around my ward (East Cowes) you will see large numbers of empty properties and purpose-built houses which remain unoccupied — 55 unsold properties at Hawthorne Meadows alone.

While they are cheap for those travelling and moving to the IW, they are not cheap for our own population and this is one of the biggest issues we must and have to tackle. We must also protect the outstanding natural beauty of areas, such as Norris Castle and Spring Hill.

They are areas which have significant historical value and their seascape and landscapes are important features full of wildlife and parklands.

One day these areas can be a magnificent resource for our communities to enjoy and visit. There are proposals to develop open Island green spaces with housing and this is just a destruction of an important habitats and in East Cowes, the distraction of historical cluster of estates is madness.

This is not the kind of Island which our people want to see being developed. We do need some more housing and particularly social housing.

The fact is we are building housing which are being sold to mainland residents and while I understand why people would want to move here, we are not actually addressing our own people’s needs.

Our Island administration is wanting to develop more housing in order to increase revenue from tax. But, of course, we need the jobs and infrastructure to go with these band D properties in the first place.

Effectively, we are not building for the right reasons. Our Island Plan has been developed to enable the council to develop it’s own lands and to deliver Tory policy housing quotas.