A WEST Wight Villages Residents' Association has been formed with the aim of preserving the rural character of the Isle of Wight.

The association has the support of MP Bob Seely, West Wight Cllr Stuart Hutchinson, and the Isle of Wight branch of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, all of whom attended a coffee morning at the Wellow Institute at its inaugural meeting.

Newly elected vice-chair, Peter Spink, said the association opposed plans to build almost 10,000 homes on the Island, as outlined in the Isle of Wight Council's planning strategy.

"We, as an association, oppose the draft Island Plan and the building of 2,000 houses on an estate in the Wellow area.

"The target figure has been set by Westminster and does not serve local needs, which can be met by providing about 250 houses per year.

"The association believes it is wrong to destroy our greenfield sites in order to house mainlanders who want to retire here."

He urged the council to support Mr Seely's efforts to persuade the government the Island was an exceptional case, and the housing target should be lowered.

Association membership forms are available at Wellow Post Office.

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