January News

Niton and Whitwell Parish Council met on Monday 25th November 2019 at Whitwell Village Hall. The Chairman welcomed 2 members of the public, one of whom brought members’ attention to public footpath problems, to be referred to the Isle of Wight Council Rights of Way Team.

The Chairman also welcomed Andy Dorning, Lead Worker of South Wight Youth Partnership (SWAY), who shared a short video of the summer residential trip to the Lake District. The Parish Council has supported the work of SWAY for several years by means of annual grants, which have increased since all Isle of Wight Council funding ceased. After some discussion, members resolved to ask for a simple report to provide justification for continuing the grant funding, to include the number of young Parishioners accessing the service and evidence of sustainability.

Work on the Smugglers Trail project is still progressing, with the leaflet due to be printed before the end of March. Publication on the Parish Council’s website was also going ahead, as was research into the development of an app.

With regard to Undercliff Drive, the Chairman reported that he had written to the Isle of Wight Council as instructed by the Parish Council at the previous meeting. He and Dr Bruce Denness had prepared a paper proposing a way forward, which the Parish Council agreed should be sent to the Isle of Wight Council for consideration. Councillor Dave Stewart reported that Isle of Wight Council officers had bid for funding to reinstate Undercliff Drive and for a package of traffic management measures for Niton and Whitwell. It had also been proposed to use the old telephone exchange in Niton as a project office and possible local archive. The Chairman suggested that local town and parish councils could be invited to partner with the Isle of Wight Council to form a working group. Councillor Stewart said that he would recommend the idea.

The contract for grounds maintenance of Niton Recreation Ground for 2020 was awarded to John O’Conner (Grounds Maintenance) Ltd.

This Christmas season, both village trees were decked with new lights and fantastic decorations made by the talented young people of Niton Primary School, Niton Pre-School and Niton Tots. Didn’t they look amazing! An enormous thank you to everyone who helped to make our trees so beautiful 😊

Another big thank you, this time to everyone who responded to our form gauging public support for proposed projects in preparation for setting next year’s budget. The Parish Council was very grateful to Councillor Stewart for allowing us to piggy-back our form onto his newsletter, so most residents had access to paper copies. I have a fair-sized pile of forms sitting beside me, which will all feed into a report for members to consider when setting next year’s budget and precept.

As part of the Island planning strategy process, the Isle of Wight Council was working with parish and town councils to undertake an Island-wide housing needs survey. This will capture views on current and future housing needs of residents, and also help the Council to understand more about what is affordable (to buy and rent). This information will then be used to inform the Council’s planning and housing policies in the future. The survey as now closed.

The Parish Council Planning Committee met on Monday 13th January at Niton Library. The Chairman, Councillor Sherlie Burridge, welcomed 55 members of the public, many of whom had come along to voice concerns regarding planning application 19/01419/FUL: Proposed residential development of 20 dwellings; formation of vehicular access, parking and landscaping on land rear of 1, Hillside Terrace and Trenale (known as School House Meadow), High Street, Whitwell. The Parish Council resolved to engage a professional consultant to filter the points made at the meeting and to put together a report for submission to the Local Planning Authority (the Isle of Wight Council).

Just a reminder: in general, if you feel strongly either for or against any local planning application, the Parish Council would encourage you to let the Isle of Wight Council know. Guidance on commenting on applications is available on the Isle of Wight Council website via a link from our website here. Please remember that any comments you make will be open to public view.

Vickie Ford, Parish Clerk