The Island Plan

Background, Process and Next steps

The Island Planning Strategy sets out how the council’s planning decisions could contribute to achieving the council’s vision for the Isle of Wight. It will deal with future needs and opportunities in relation to infrastructure, homes, jobs and businesses, community facilities and the environment. It will also set out the principles that will guide future development, including housing and employment land.

It will make sure you and your family get the homes you need plus all the services, facilities and amenities that great communities are built on, while protecting and enhancing what you love about living in the area.

Why the draft Island Planning Strategy is important

The government is clear that local authorities are expected to have up-to-date plans in place to guide development within their area to plan for the infrastructure, homes and jobs that our residents need. The island is a popular area which means people want to live here, whether they grew up here or not, and we are required to meet their needs. We also have a growing population so the plan will make sure the growth:

  • happens in the right place

  • fits in with the character of the Island

  • is developed alongside the right roads, schools, services, retail, leisure and community facilities

Not having a plan means that the growth will still happen, but we will have less control over where it happens and  we cannot ensure growth is supported by transport improvements and community facilities.

In this consultation draft, some of the headline numbers planned for were:

  • Homes: 641 new homes per year; 

  • Jobs: 30 hectares allocated for employment uses over six sites; 

  • Transport: Road and rail improvements including nearly 8 ½ miles of new cycle tracks proposed; 

  • Services: 1.3 per cent of the Island proposed for residential and employment designation; and  

  • Countryside: 28 sites identified by the local communities designated as local green space and 1 new Dark Skies Park.

How the Island Planning Strategy has been developed

The Plan has been informed by a number of new independent evidence studies. These look at issues such as population, housing, employment, retail and flooding. We’ve also considered existing, potential and new transport infrastructure e.g. roads, so that growth and transport infrastructure go hand–in-hand. We have also looked at the wider need for infrastructure including schools and flood defence.

Consultation on the draft Island Planning Strategy

A consultation was undertaken from 9am Monday 3 December 2018 for an 8 week period. We have been reviewing all the responses made from the consultation and considering the changes required to the Island Planning Strategy. The Government are now proposing fundamental changes to the land use planning system and a national consultation is currently being undertaken on these. You can view these proposals on the Government website

The outcome of the Government consultation and the effect on the form and timing of the next stages of the Island Planning Strategy is currently unknown. The information will be updated on these pages as the position is established. 

The Island Planning Strategy process

The stages the Island Planning Strategy goes through under current legislation are set out in the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) and further guidance is given in the Local Plans section of the national planning practice guidance. The recent Government proposals for changes to the planning system will ultimately lead to changes, to the planning legislation and the stages of the Island Planning Strategy will be required to undertake.