Isle of Wight only met 54 per cent of housebuilding target over past three years

Between 2017 and 2020, 1,823 homes should have been built to meet government-set targets, but only 978 were delivered.

fence of building site with warning signs

Over the past three years the Isle of Wight has only achieved 54 per cent of its housebuilding target — leaving it vulnerable to unwanted development.

Its poor record, which left it close to the bottom of the national table, means there is a presumption of approval to applications for schemes within the  National Planning Policy Framework.

Only 978 were delivered
Between 2017 and 2020, 1,823 homes should have been built to meet government-set targets but only 978 were delivered.

Across the Solent, Southampton achieved 129 per cent against its target but Portsmouth only reached 80 per cent.

17 areas worse than Island
Only 17 areas in the country had worse housing levels than the Island, all falling below the thresholds which means their planning authorities are subject to the strongest sanctions.

Planning policies the council use for the delivery of new homes can now be viewed as out of date when determining the applications. The planning authority may, in some cases, have to rely on national ones instead.

Due to the presumption, this argument is used by planning agents when stating why their schemes should be approved.

Significant and demonstrable harm must outweigh benefits
It does not automatically mean, however, the application will be approved, but that it should only be rejected if significant and demonstrable harm would outweigh the benefits.

The council is under further sanctions because it cannot demonstrate the number of homes permitted and expected to be built in a five year period — despite the number of already-approved developments.

Approved but not yet built
Speaking at the March meeting of the planning committee, Cllr Richard Hollis listed developments including Harcourt Sands, Pennyfeathers and Rosemary Vineyard in Ryde, and Place Road in Cowes, all with planning permission, some yet to be built.

He said adding up the developments, he did not believe that figure failed governments targets.

Recent court cases
An Isle of Wight Council spokesperson said recent court cases have helped the planning authority consider how the presumption is applied to applications.

While policies may be out of date they potentially remain relevant and should be considered when passing judgement.

Continue with Island Plan Core Strategy
They said the council will continue the Island Plan Core Strategy while the next-generation Island Planning Strategy (IPS) is being finalised.

The spokesperson said,

“The IPS provides the opportunity to ‘reset’ our approach towards providing new homes on the Island.”

To help build the next IPS, people have been asked to identify brownfield, or previously developed land, that could be potential development sites.

This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. Some alterations and additions may have been made by OnTheWight. Ed

Image: Gene Hunt under CC BY 2.0

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below must comply with the Commenting 'House Rules' and are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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9 Comments on "Isle of Wight only met 54 per cent of housebuilding target over past three years"

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The IOW Council needs to use some of its own land supply and build its own houses. Rather than selling off to housing associations, they could have affordable housing to rent and to buy. There are prime sites the council owns, the old Broadlea School site in Lake, Sandham Middle School site in Sandown to name just two, rather than digging up prime agricultural land as they… Read more »

The housing target is unrealistic

I quite agree. The current housing target is wholly unrealistic. It lacks ambition. We need to be building far more homes on the Island. If we want our children and grandchildren to have any hope of being able to afford to live here, we need to significantly deflate the housing market. The only way to do that is to drastically increase supply. If we can increase the… Read more »

Well said, far more homes need to be built across the country and the amount ex-farmers etc can make out of the land should be limited so that ordinary working people can afford the houses.

Benny C
Probably true but what’s your point? IOWC are stuck with their own governments targets. Dave Stewart and co have been pushed over so easily by central govt. land allocations and preapatstions have been dire, leading to permission delays and inappropriate applications. He Plannin* Committee have been woeful at getting to the heart of applications and seeing through decent schemes which work, which transfer more benefits to occupiers… Read more »
Benny C
Apologies for the inexcusable errors. Let’s start over . ..Probably true, but what’s your point? IOWC Aare stuck with their own party’s targets. Dave Stewart and Co. Have been pushed over so easily by central govt. Land allocations and preparatory actions have been dire ( and clearly ineffective), leading to permission delays and inappropriate applications. The Planning Committee, where decision making and accountability also rests, have been… Read more »
Government targets and government figures, two phrases that you just know are going to be just plain wrong. Here is an example of how it is so easy to get it wrong. I lived in a tiny village a few years ago, (not on the Island).It was indentified with a housing need of 27. All the villagers wanted to know how the figure of 27 was arrived… Read more »
Mark L Francis

We need more brownfield site developments for social housing, not digging up greenfields for profit. It is not like there is a shortage of derelict sites.

Benny C

Browns golf course in Sandown! It’s nearly derelict and uneconomic for leisure use. Perfect.