THE sheer number of houses planned for his ward, has led one Isle of Wight Council member to hit out at the authority's new 'planning bible'.

The draft Island Planning Strategy (IPS) envisages building 486 houses per year for the next 15 years while trying to address some of the most pressing issues such as affordability, the environment and greenfield development.

Parkhurst and Hunnyhill, however, has been allocated to provide one in five of the new houses and nearly three years' worth of housing growth.

With four developments planned so far, the ward has the largest of the allocated sites — the redevelopment of Camp Hill prison, which could provide 1,200 homes — as well as plots on Horsebridge Hill, Noke Common and the former Library HQ at St Mary's, providing 115, 100 and 25 units respectively.

Isle of Wight County Press: The sites allocated for housing. (Picture: Isle of Wight Council)The sites allocated for housing. (Picture: Isle of Wight Council)

Local councillor, Andrew Garratt said it was an 'excessively disproportionate allocation' compared to elsewhere.

He cited Ventnor, where only ten houses have been allocated in the 15-year timeframe.

While some of the sites have been reduced from the previous plan, which was consulted on in 2018, Cllr Garratt said the proposals essentially build a whole new ward and it is too much for one area to take.

He said: "Newport is expected to take 37 per cent of the new allocated housing, the vast majority of that is in one area.

"That suggests to me the strategy needs to be looked at again.

"How is it we have got this excessively disproportionate allocation in our county town and even more so in one area."

Cllr Garratt said the number should be drastically reduced or there was no way he could vote to approve the IPS.

He also warned that relying on Camp Hill, if it cannot be delivered, may cause serious problems as it could lead to the council being dependant on every other allocated housing site coming forward for development or be unable to meet its revised targets.

Cllr Garratt said: "We know we are not meeting the targets and we know why that figure is wrong for the Island. If you are unable to develop 1,200 homes, you have put a lot of eggs in one basket."

Currently, the former prison, and land around it, is owned by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) but the Isle of Wight Council has been in talks for several years to acquire the site.

Earlier this year, the council did a deal with the MoJ to take on some of the roads in the prison estates, enabling repairs to take place.

Isle of Wight County Press:

The council hoped this would further its relationship with the MoJ and put it on good terms for later acquiring the prison site.

In anticipation of the large developments, the St Mary's Junction was installed partially to cope with the increased number of traffic movements.

Cllr Garratt said even with the new £10 million junctions around the county town there 'would be more congestion than ever'.

He said: "Where is all the infrastructure? Schools, doctors, how do we tackle that? If you are going to put that concentration of new development in one area there would be a real need to look at how that is addressed."

Cllr Garratt also said the landscape buffers proposed for the edge of every development, to protect areas of environmental significance were worthless as it was a 'pitifully small distance'.

He said: " It would be great if we could open up the green fields of the prison land as green space."

He encouraged all his residents, and Islanders, to put their views of the plan into the consultation.

To view the IPS, and see how to submit a response, visit: