Explosive start to planning meeting which rejected 150 Gunville homes

By Press Release Sep 1, 2021

Two councillors stormed out of the Isle of Wight Planning Committee on Tuesday evening, Cllrs Chris Jarman and Dave Adams both left the meeting after a row over the minutes of a former meeting when the controversial West Acre development was approved.

Before the committee could consider the issue of 150 new homes at Gunville, Cllr Jarman put forward a point of order and motion to not approve the previous minutes until any judicial review or legal proceedings had been dealt with, as it had a ‘high probability of undermining the credibility of the committee and the council’, potentially leaving the council with large costs.

The motion was rejected by the acting chairman, Cllr Geoff Brodie, who said Cllr Jarman was exaggerating the position of the West Acre decision. Ben Guard, a member of the council’s staff, said he could see no reason why the minutes had to be deferred.

Deciding to leave the council chamber, Cllr Jarman said he believed the meeting was out of order and ‘declined to continue’, with Cllr Adams joining him. However, before he left, Cllr Adams got into a spat with Cllr Brodie, saying installing him as chairman, while Cllr Lilley stepped out, raised ‘very serious’ concerns as Cllr Brodie was the person who ’caused all the friction’. Cllr Brodie proposed a vote to ‘not hear from Cllr Adams’ for the rest of the meeting, but no councillor seconded it.

The meeting went on to reject plans for 149 homes in Gunville due to ‘inadequate’ access and the wider impact on highways. Going against officer’s recommendations, the committee argued the single point of access for the old and the new estate leading to Broadwood Lane was ‘completely inappropriate’.

Speaking on behalf of residents, Sue Cook objected for a number of reasons, saying the potential effects would be truly devastating.
Andrew White, on behalf of the applicant, pointed out the Isle of Wight Council had failed to meet its housing targets and is under the presumption in favour of sustainable development, so the council should only turn down applications for new housing if there was significant or demonstrable harm that would outweigh the benefits.

Island Roads objected to plans for the 113 houses due to the negative impact it would have on the wider highways network, especially at the Waverley cross-roads at the top of Carisbrooke High Street. Cllr Matthew Price, who proposed refusing the scheme, said he was struggling to see how they were considering Broadwood Lane as access for an extra 150 houses.

All eligible committee councillors voted to reject the outline plans for 113 houses, on the grounds vehicle movements would have an adverse effect on the the highways network and construction traffic would compromise the residential amenity.
Councillors were split, on another application for full permission for another 36 homes. Cllr Chris Quirk proposed approving them, with Cllr Geoff Brodie seconding. The proposal fell 6-3.

The next day Cllr Brodie resigned from the ruling Alliance Group at the Council.