PLANS for the major regeneration of Newport Harbour will once again head out for consultation.

However, the decision to include the option of housing on Seaclose Park has been criticised.

The consultation seeks to progress the regeneration, which could see a footbridge over the River Medina, a hotel, a multi-storey car park and other big projects in the harbour at the centre of the county town.

The Isle of Wight Council's cabinet agreed the move on Thursday.

The idea of housing on Seaclose Park, reinstated in the consultation, was called a 'disgrace' by Cllr Geoff Brodie, chair of Newport and Carisbrooke Community Council, who said he suspected the community council would be in unanimous opposition to the housing.

Isle of Wight County Press: Potential options for the site, shown in the bottom left corner. Picture by the Isle of Wight CouncilPotential options for the site, shown in the bottom left corner. Picture by the Isle of Wight Council

Cllr Brodie referenced the public petition carried out by local ward councillor Matt Price at the time of the previous consultation in 2020, which was successful in seeing the Conservative administration remove the Seaclose Park housing from the plan.

Speaking at the cabinet meeting, Cllr Brodie said the area was important to residents as it was an urban area with a limited number of recreation grounds.

He also said the council were seemingly ignoring brownfield sites to develop, like Camp Hill, in favour of the greenfield, recreation site.

Cllr Ian Stephens, cabinet member for housing, said Camp Hill was not owned by the council, whereas Seaclose was so they would concentrate on their assets.

However, the housing on Seaclose, he said, 'was not final by any imagination'.

Cabinet member for planning, Cllr Paul Fuller, said they needed to get the affordable housing element right there and would listen to what the residents of Newport told them.

Cllr Julie Jones-Evans, regeneration cabinet member, said one housing option had been 'pulled back drastically' and urged people to focus on the entire plan during the consultation, and not 'one tiny corner'.

Once the outcome of the consultation had been considered, the council could make further changes and approve it as a supplementary planning document, which Cllr Jones-Evans said wouldhelp 'de-risk' the project.

She said it would give assurance to investors the council was behind the project, so they could start to bring parts forward.