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Brakes Slammed On East Cowes Venture Quays Plans

‘No interest’ in an Isle of Wight housing plan has put the brakes on a crucial project.

The Isle of Wight Council has been trying for years to find a partner to develop two sites in East Cowes but recent attempts have been ‘unsuccessful’, the authority said.

In September 2020, it bought the plots of land making up Venture Quays for £1.3 million.

As part of the deal with Homes England, the council has to build homes on land at Maresfield Road Car Park and opposite, which currently houses Island business Teemill.

The authority has to have secured planning permission by March 2024 and start development by March 2025 or risk having to sell the land back to the government for £1.

The deadlines for the planning permission and development have already been pushed back twice but the council has previously said it can request a change of dates again if needed.

Speaking at the council’s cabinet meeting last week, Cllr Phil Jordan, the council leader, said the authority was taking it off their work plan as “there was no way of moving it forward at this stage.”

Cllr Jordan said the council had previously looked for a partner to build care housing on the Maresfield site, but there was no interest in the site.

A council spokesperson confirmed they were looking for other options to use the land in line with the conditions set by Homes England.

It says it currently has no plans to hand the sites back to the government body and will review the housing, planning and development conditions once a way forward has been identified.

At a previous attempt to find a partner in May 2022, four expressions of interest were made.

A feasibility study of the site done last year determined it had ‘severe negative viability’ and there was ‘no interest from an affordable housing provider.’

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