NEARLY 100 Newport and Carisbrooke residents attended a public meeting to discuss concerns over the Isle of Wight Council's housing plans.

As reported, the Island Plan, based on government housing targets, calls for almost 10,000 homes to be built on the Isle of Wight over the next 15 years.

The meting, held at the Riverside Centre, Newport, on Monday evening, was organised by MP Bob Seely and hosted by Newport and Carisbrooke Parish Council.

Mr Seely, who opposes the plans and has called for the housing target to be lowered, has been touring the Isle of Wight to discuss the issue with residents.

In the Newport area, 3,695 homes are planned — on a mix of green and brownfield land.

Areas earmarked for larger developments include land at the former Camp Hill Prison site, Horsebridge Hill, Sylvan Drive, Noke Common, Broadwood Lane, Trafalgar Road, Fairlee Road, Newport Harbour and Carisbrooke College.

Mr Seely said residents at the meeting expressed concerns about the lack of infrastructure to support the number of houses proposed, the need to build affordable homes for young Islanders, the lack of demand for such a high volume of housing on the Island compared to population growth and the detrimental effect of additional traffic on tourism.

Speaking after the meeting, parish council chair, Cllr Julie-Jones Evans, said: “It was great to see a full house at the Riverside Centre. Everyone is in agreement that housing targets set by the government, and then reflected in the Island Plan, are unnecessary and unrealistic.

“The residents of Newport present expressed major concern regarding the negative impact on services such as education, health, roads and the need for employment.

“The result of the meeting was that parish councillors, our MP and the Isle of Wight Council need to work together to bring down the housing target and get government to understand what it’s really like to live on an Island.”

Vice-chair, Cllr Matthew Price, said: “The residents of Newport and Carisbrooke could not have been clearer in their views against the Island Plan.

“Our NHS, GP surgeries, dentists, council services, social care and education services are already stretched to the limit and our roads and transport network can take no more.”

Cllr Geoff Brodie said: "It was a good meeting, though I was quite surprised as to how strongly Mr Seely is opposing his Conservative colleagues at County Hall over this issue.

"There was no doubt of the feelings of the meeting and I am pleased most of those Isle of Wight Councillors who were there expressed support for a campaign of opposition.

"Of course, the final decision on future targets will lie at the door of government and it will need the Isle of Wight Council cabinet to really fight in the months to come to reduce them."

Mr Seely, who urged people to contact their local councillor about the Island Plan, said: “We need to work together as an Island community to get the government to agree to treat the Island as an exceptional case and lower our housing target, and to make sure the houses are built for Islanders."

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