An Isle of Wight council (IWC) Independent Cllr has criticised the comments made by Leader of the Isle of Wight council, Cllr Dave Stewart, in response to Isle of Wight Conservative MP, Robert Seely‘s call for a reduction in the Housing Target for the Isle of Wight.
Cllr Debbie Andre said:
“I was amazed to read the comments made by the Leader of the Council, Dave Stewart, in response to our MP’s suggestion that he should join the MP to request that the Isle of Wight be made an ‘Exceptional Case’ and have the target for house building in the draft Island Plan reduced as a result.
“Cllr Stewart has apparently shown no enthusiasm for such a move saying only that he will join the MP’s request ‘in principle’ provided that the MP can prove to him the target is too high.
“These comments show beyond doubt that Cllr Stewart and the current Administration, in proposing to build 10,000 houses, are being driven by Central Government policy and targets and not the needs and wishes of the residents of the Isle of Wight.”
Proposed levels of house-building far too high
Highlighting the level of local opposition to the plans, Cllr Andre added,
“It is plain to anyone who takes an interest in such matters that the proposed levels of house building in the draft Island Plan are far too high and are supported by neither need nor practicality.
“The levels of objection to the proposed targets from members of the public and bodies such as the CPRE are what Cllr Stewart should be paying regard to.”
Andre: I would be welcoming our MP’s comments
Cllr Andre went on to say,
“It is no wonder that in Westminster we are seeing MPs leaving their national party organisations. The main parties are increasingly being driven by their own political credos rather than a regard for the thoughts and wishes of the people they are elected to represent. Cllr Stewart and his Administration should pause and consider who they are supposed to represent and serve.
“If I were Leader of the Council I would be welcoming our MP’s comments and setting off to Westminster without delay to put the case for the people of the Island rather than holding back, showing a lack of genuine support for our island MP, and following the direction of my mainland masters.”
Have your say on the draft Island Planning Strategy Development Plan Document by midday on Monday 25th February.
Image: © With kind permission of Allan Marsh