The Isle of Wight council will fund £100,000 for the planning department — so they can get the housing target right for the Isle of Wight.
In a meeting of the Isle of Wight Council’s cabinet last Thursday (10th October), Cllr Stuart Hutchinson, cabinet member for finance and resources, announced that despite budgetary pressures, an extra £100,000 will be allocated to the planning department to help figure out the correct housing figures for the Island, saying ‘we don’t like the numbers thrown up any more than residents do’.
Council to challenge target
As part of the draft Island Plan just under 10,000 homes are to built on the Island in the next 15 years — around 641 houses a year — although only 360 houses were built last year and none of those fell into the category of affordable housing.
Cllr Barry Abraham, cabinet member for planning and housing, confirmed the council was going to challenge the figures, hoping to have built 100 houses by this time next year, while also developing software to show where there are needs for housing.
Abraham: We have to make this affordable for Islanders
“We have evidence within the planning service and across the council that will challenge those numbers — when we consult again in the spring, hopefully those numbers will be significantly different.
“We have to make this affordable for Islanders. People cannot afford the 80 per cent market rent, certain people will only be able to make 40 and we have to help those people.
“It is not good enough for the council to continue as it has done over the last numbers of years to grant development and with no truly affordable housing to come forward.”