Plans revealed for stunning home to replace former amusement arcade

There’s a planning app to part-demolish the former amusement arcade and replace it with a stunning new home – designed in style of the former leisure pavilion built at the end of 19th century.

gaiety villa

NB: This is a very rare opinion piece from me, so don’t be surprised to see me expressing my views. Ed

At last! A planning application in Ventnor that I can wholeheartedly support.

There was a time when I was pretty keen in keeping an eye on planning applications in our home town.

Our objections to what we saw as carbuncles on the landscape resulted in us (we were told) being barred from certain drinking establishments, simply for saying we objected to ugly designs.

After a while, I became more and more frustrated that despite what appeared to be material planning objections, they were simply ignored and monstrous applications were passed or conditions not enforced, so concentrated my efforts elsewhere.

End of the Gaiety
Back in 2015 an application to demolish the Gaiety Amusement Arcade and replace it with three four-floor houses, comprising seven flats, was approved.

Although the design was attractive enough, many of those objecting felt it was too large, blocking the view of the Victorian terraces behind – something that makes standing on Ventnor beach and looking back towards the town, quite magical.

Approved plans

Once approved, many thought it was just a matter of time before the now-tatty, former arcade would be pulled down and replaced.

However, nothing happened, until now.

Hopefully not a poorly-executed pastiche
The same architects who managed to get approval for the seven flats in 2015 (Lyons, Sleeman and Hoare) have now submitted another application and it’s one I love!

New plans from the beach

Assuming the quality of the build is of a high standard and it’s not just another badly-executed pastiche, I believe the design for this spectacular home on the seafront is magnificent.

Attention to detail
I’m may be shooting myself in the foot here, because I’m not an expert in architecture – I just know what I like and don’t like – but the designs for this new home do appear to pay homage particularly well to the former leisure pavilion built at the end of the nineteenth century.

Although the building itself is the same height as the approved flats, it’s less dense and allows views of the terraces behind much more easily.

Comparison with former approval

Not only that, but it looks much more in keeping with our much-loved Victorian Ventnor – unlike, in my view, the Metropole and Mill Bay developments.

Have your say
Anyway, don’t take my word for it, head over to the iWight Planning Website and check out the drawings yourself.

You have until Friday 6th July to make your comments known to the council.

At time of publishing there were three submissions, all in favour.

Image: © Lyons, Sleeman and Hoare

Opinion Piece

Thursday, 5th July, 2018 9:09pm



Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight Opinion Pieces, Planning, Top story, Ventnor

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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8 Comments on "Plans revealed for stunning home to replace former amusement arcade"

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There are already enough places for tourists to eat on the seafront. It would be good to see this property built and also similar aesthetic properties on the other derelict sites. Ventnor Esplanade will then be an attractive venue again.

Robert Jones
So much development on the island over the last 50-odd years that I’ve been observing it has been poor quality in design and build; and almost invariably, has been about maximizing property values until now, the price of houses is way beyond most people’s pockets unless they can obtain – and shoulder the burden of – a very substantial mortgage. On the face of it – i.e.… Read more »
I would imagine the reason the original arcade was left to rot was because the owners rightly saw they could make more money by selling the site off for it’s investment potential if it was left to get into a bad enough state for the Council to grant planning permission ? Whatever their motives, I don’t think the issue is whether it’s a better scheme than a… Read more »
This is an improvement on the last scheme and should be judged on its own merit, notwithstanding the fact that potential retail use is being totally removed. Also, how will this affect the pedestrianisation of the seafront (which is viable and totally separate from the High Street fantasy) Sally – “You have to ask yourself why the arcade was left to rot?” Previously my comment in 2014… Read more »
Robert Jones
Agreed, on the whole – but this is one site in a large area: it should enhance it, and that’s likely to be advantageous commercially, if it’s part of a gradual process of improvement and renovation. It would be different if there were a viable plan on offer to retain retail use – but if there is, it’s not on the radar yet. And can Ventnor really… Read more »
Seriously ? You don’t think, where Ventnor is a small seaside town and the island’s economy is based on tourism, that it might be a better to have something on this prime seafront site that would be a facility for tourists ? e.g. another amusement arcade to replace the one that was left to rot ? Or basically anything that would add to the town as a… Read more »