A controversial planning application is likely to be reconsidered — after concerns were raised about the way it was approved.
At a meeting of the Isle of Wight Council’s planning committee last month, approval was granted for a development of 17 houses at Gibbwell Field, between Nettlestone Hill and Seaview Lane, Nettlestone.
Voted in favour
An amendment to the original plans was proposed by Cllr Geoff Brodie — to remove a reference to sheltered housing and replace it with ‘appropriate affordable housing’ — which was then voted on.
But confusion in the council chamber meant the development was approved by one more vote than it should have been — after one member ‘accidentally’ voted in favour.
Monitoring officer says consider again
Council monitoring officer Geoff Wild has now recommended the decision be reconsidered by the planning committee, following concerns raised about voting and procedural issues.
How the confusion arose
At the meeting, committee chair Cllr Chris Quirk took two points of order between the votes cast in favour and those against, which left the motion hanging.
He then started the vote again, causing Cllr Vanessa Churchman — who had continually claimed she would oppose the plans — to vote in favour of the application.
It was approved by six votes to three.
Usually, all the votes would have been cast without interruption — but two votes were taken in favour, both returning different results.
Incorrect advice on amendments
Cllr Quirk also told members — incorrectly — the motion could be amended after it had been passed. However, when councillors raised a number of points following the vote, council officers said no changes could be made.
The Gibbwell Field plans were submitted by SGJ Bloombridge in 2012 and have changed dramatically since.
Changes to plans
Earlier proposals included allotments, more houses, a community hall and a First World War memorial.
Former workshops at the top of the field will now be demolished to make way for residential units, a car park for the use of Nettlestone Primary School and a footpath through the site.
Building work was set to start once reserved matters — including appearance, landscaping, layout and scale — had been approved.
Reconsidered next month
The council said it was likely the application would be reconsidered at the next planning committee meeting on 17th December — but no new comments can be made.
This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. Some alterations and additions may be been made by OnTheWight. Ed