Island MP Bob Seely is calling on the Government to give the Island’s landscape greater protection against inappropriate housing that does not meet the needs of Islanders.
Last month Mr Seely set out his own housing plans for the Island which included proposals to ban greenfield development in all but exceptional circumstance and to extend the Island’s protected landscape making it easier for the IW Council to reject schemes that damage the Island’s natural beauty.
Pushing forward with his plans, Mr Seely has now written to Environment Secretary, George Eustice, asking for Government action to support these aims. He wants the Island to be considered in plans announced recently by the Prime Minister to designate and protect an additional 4,000 sq km of land across the country.
Mr Seely said he wants to be part of the Prime Minister’s 30 by 30 campaign which commits the government to protect 30 per cent of the UK land by 2030 - an additional 4% on current designations.
He said: “I want the government to work with us to see how the Island could extend its protected landscape to ensure we have sustainable development in line with the Island’s UNESCO Biosphere status and to protect the natural beauty of our landscape.
“I have set out to the government my vision to create the UK’s first ‘Island park’ with unique protection status laying somewhere between that of an AONB and a National Park, with planning authority retained by the Isle of Wight Council.
“We absolutely need housing and sensible, sustainable regeneration, but we need to build according to the needs of Islanders and in a way that is sympathetic to our landscape.
“We need to protect the natural beauty of our Island for future generations. We do this by stopping government plans which would result in our landscape being concreted over for unnecessary housing and by securing additional protections on our landscape.
“I am leading a group of MPs who are supportive of my vision to see houses built in the right places where they are needed, not in rural areas like the Isle of Wight.”