News shared by the office of Isle of Wight Conservative MP, Robert Seely, in their own words. Ed
Following his recent victory to persuade the Government to scrap the controversial algorithm that dictated the scale and location of housebuilding on the Isle of Wight, MP Bob Seely has taken further steps to protect the Island’s green fields from development by asking the Government for further landscape protections.
Currently, around half the Island is covered by the existing Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty designation but Mr Seely said he wants to see more land protected.
Call for Island Park designation
This is part of a wider strategy on environmentally friendly development of the Island, both in housing or growing ‘green’ industries such as wind and tidal energy.
Mr Seely said,
“I want the Government to consider three options: an extension of the existing AONB status to cover more of the Island, full national park status, or a new designation – an ‘Island Park’ – which would sit somewhere between the protection levels of that of an AONB and National Park.”
Presented Parliamentary Under Secretary
to Mr Seely set out his vision in a virtual meeting with Lord Gardiner, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity, and representatives from Natural England and DEFRA.
AONB status gives land greater protection than ‘normal’ planning rules and prevents large-scale green field planning, which Mr Seely has pledged to oppose.
Mr Seely said,
“The Prime Minister has set out his plans to designate and protect an additional 4,000sq km of land across the country by 2030. I want the Island to be included in that.
“I want the Government to recognise that the Island has a natural uniqueness which is worthy of further protection. We have a mixture of rare geology, unique beaches, some of the richest dinosaur finds in Europe along with chalk downs, marshy inlet and a lot more besides. We must protect them from harmful development.”
More than protecting from overdevelopment
He went on to add,
“Currently we have five parcels of land designated as AONB: most areas have one large continuous designation. I want us to get away from the field by field approach to designations and protect a much larger area of land.
“This is not just about housing and protecting from overdevelopment: it is about protecting landscape in perpetuity and is part of a green agenda for the Island too. Where we build, we need to build for Islanders, in appropriate numbers, in existing communities.”
Support from IWC needed
Mr Seely finished by saying,
“I thank Lord Gardiner for listening to my ideas and for advising on next steps. It is clear that to push this agenda will require the full support of the local authority so I will be talking to the Isle of Wight Council to discuss how we can move forward.”