Architect’s plans get cold reception at Northwood meeting

Around a hundred local residents gathered in Northwood Village Hall to hear detailed plans for the building of 66 houses on sheep pasture off Newport road in the village on Saturday (October 20).

The plans were explained by the architect, Neil Holmes, Quayside Architects Ltd, who told residents: “I offered to speak at the parish meeting (August 21). We have a responsibility to talk to local residents and would like to address some of their concerns.

“The local authority has a need for housing and 35% of the homes will be ‘affordable’. We are quite happy for this housing to come to locals.”

However, few if any locals present at the meeting agreed with the architect.

A sign protesting the plans in Northwood – by Warren Whitmore

Chairman of the parish council, John Bullen, stated: “Our housing needs survey of four years ago indicated a need for 20–30 houses and since then about a dozen houses have been built. We have an overkill of houses.”

Joanna Backshall, whose family home is adjacent to the development, said: “It’s far too many houses on too small a piece of land. They are putting twenty properties onto an area the same size as our family property.”

She emphasised that the infrastructure could not cope with more people, claiming: “I can sit waiting for ten minutes to get onto the main road in the morning.”

She added that sewage problems had not been addressed, and that “Northwood Primary has already been flooded with sewage.”

Another Northwood resident, Christine Haynes, said: “I like looking at lambs and farmland and wildlife, and that’s why I bought my house. Now, I’ll have to look at the roofs of houses.”

After the meeting, the architect, Neil Holmes, expressed the opinion that the opposition to any development was “far more vociferous on the Island than on the mainland.”