Community garden in Freshwater to become bin store

Disappointment for residents in Freshwater — as the Isle of Wight Council has granted permission to put bins on a community garden.

Plans have been approved for Southern Housing Group (SHG) to install 16 waste stores, which will house 64 bins, in four locations around a part of Jubilee Close, Freshwater.

In a planning statement, SHG said the current placement of the bins is unsightly and had been identified as an unacceptable fire risk, which had to be sorted immediately.

It said: “The design, location and setting have been developed to eliminate any adverse impact on the amenities of nearby residential users.”

Currently, part of the spaces are being used as a community garden which will be concreted over to create a base for the bins.

The green space was created after residents applied to SHG’s gardening neighbours’ scheme, where funding was provided to transform the area, adding colours and various flowers.

When residents became aware of plans to get rid of their garden, they launched a campaign to save it with more than 200 people signing a petition and Freshwater Parish Council pledging its support.

The parish council objected to the application saying residents and councillors should decide in consultation with SHG where the bins should go and noting the design is not appropriate or suitable for people with disabilities.

However, apart from the parish council, the Isle of Wight Council’s planning team received no other objections to the application.

Officers granted permission for the bin stores after visiting the site and noting ‘a large number of bins are grouped together which appears unsightly and cluttered’.

In an officers’ note, they said: “The proposed bin stores would be sited in communal garden areas, appropriately distanced from the properties themselves.

“The application would result in an improved visual appearance compared to the existing situation and officers consider there would be no greater harm caused to the amenities of the surrounding properties.”