Most of the former farm buildings will also be demolished to give way for a rural business park
Affordable homes will be built on the Isle of Wight once again after unanimous approval was given to a scheme in Branstone.
The Isle of Wight Council’s planning committee on Tuesday gave permission for 42 affordable houses at the former school-trip destination, Branstone Farm Studies Centre.
Part of the government’s ‘Getting Building’ project, £2.4 million has been awarded for the site, which will also see most of the former farm buildings demolished and turned into office units for a rural business park.
Martyn Pearl, chief executive of Vectis Housing Association, which will be building the housing, said from the start of the scheme it was important to do justice to the ecology of the site, the biosphere designation for the Island and provide much-needed homes.
He said: Affordable homes are absolutely critical on the Island at the moment and Vectis are key providers. They will be affordable, they will be for local people and we will look to not only provide homes but develop the community.
One objector, however, said he found it difficult to understand why this location was suitable for 42 homes, as it is isolated and requires a car to get to local amenities, and questioned whether, if the land had been owned or developed by someone other than the council, approval would be given.
In the last 3 years, only 50 affordable homes have been built and planning officers said this development would hold ‘substantial weight’ in meeting the Island’s needs.
Councillor Clare Mosdell, the ward member, spoke passionately to the planning committee, asking them to approve the houses as this was a chance to ‘bring life back to Branstone’.
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