PLANNERS have given a controversial Freshwater greenfield housing development, previously branded 'destructive' by those who oppose it, the thumbs up.

It will be up to councillors to make the final decision.

In a report released today (Monday) ahead of next week's Isle of Wight Council planning committee, the authority has recommended the major development of 44 dwellings at Birch Close be given permission, subject to 26 conditions.

Residents of the cul-de-sac had objected in droves, fearing the housing would cause a lack of privacy for some neighbouring properties with the overbearing nature and size of properties.

Isle of Wight County Press: New plans for the site. (Picture: Debenhams Smith Architecture)New plans for the site. (Picture: Debenhams Smith Architecture)

The application was readvertised three times, due to changes in the application, and 149 objections were submitted against the plans, some by the same people.

Through changes, developers Tallulah Estates reduced the number of properties from 50 to 44, cutting a block of flats from the plans due to the negative feedback.

Other objections said it would increase traffic, parking concerns and safety issues as well as an abundance of wildlife including badgers and slow worms living, foraging or moving through the site.

Freshwater Parish Council has also objected to the development saying it does not meet the local housing needs and the area of Colwell is already over sewer capacity.

None of the council's internal consultees, such as Island Roads, tree or ecology officers, have raised issues with the application, subject to conditions they have suggested.

Isle of Wight County Press: The entrance to the green field at Birch Close. (Picture: Google Maps)The entrance to the green field at Birch Close. (Picture: Google Maps)

Having considered the issues raised, planning officers found no problem that could lead to the rejection of planning permission and said the proposed development would not have unacceptable impacts on the amenities of neighbouring properties, ecology, trees, archaeology or result in additional flooding.

In their report, planners said the development would be likely to result in some level of temporary impact on neighbouring properties but with a construction management plan that could be controlled.

They also said the development would appear to be an extension of the already largely residential area.

The development is being called before the council's planning committee as it is said to 'raise marginal and difficult policy issues' and will be decided next Tuesday, November 16.