Niton and Whitwell Parish Council Report

Niton and Whitwell Parish Council met on Monday 23rd November 2015 at Whitwell Village Hall. The Chairman welcomed representatives of Niton Football Club to the meeting. He then outlined the progress made to date by the working group (formed at the special meeting held on 9th November 2015) with regard to the draft lease for the football field and new clubhouse and the “community payback” (S106) agreement between the developer and the Isle of Wight Council. He also stated that it now looked highly likely that planning permission would be granted for the proposed development regardless of the Parish Council’s involvement or otherwise.

After some discussion, I was instructed to write to the Isle of Wight Council Planning Department regarding the lack of involvement of the Parish Council in the community aspects of the Niton Football Club planning application; further details can be found in the minutes of the 23rd November meeting.

The Parish Council resolved to become a joint party to the lease, subject to two conditions being satisfied. It is committed to doing everything possible to safeguard the interests of Niton Football Club and the local community and to prevent the building of 4 houses within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) without the building of a clubhouse for the Football Club.

Grants of £2,000 for SWAY (South Wight Area Youth Partnership) and £2,000 for the Community Hub were ratified in line with the 2015/16 budget and a grant of £200 awarded to the Niton Lantern Parade. It was decided to make an application to Groundworks under the Tesco “Bags of Help” scheme to fund the construction of an all-weather surface across the field from Mayflower Cottage to Lower Fields; this would ensure that the Ashknowle Lane footpath/bridle way could be used by pedestrians and cyclists all year round!

Sadly, although my idea for a “NitWhit” excursion to Tesco/Busy Bee got the green light, I was unable to organise the trip in time for Christmas shopping L Hopefully, next year …..

Yet again, I have to report that the delayed essential maintenance work due to be carried out on some of the play equipment at Niton Recreation Ground is still to happen. The Parish Council’s decision to remove the dilapidated Daisy swing (its Kompan warranty has expired and the cost of replacement parts is prohibitively high) has been challenged by local residents offering financial help with its refurbishment. More news on this much-loved piece of play equipment next month!

A special meeting of the Parish Council was held on Monday 14th December 2015 at the Edward Edwards Library, Niton. The main purpose of the meeting was to consider making a financial contribution to the Chillerton and Gatcombe Parish Council initiative to restore the Southern Vectis number 6 bus winter Sunday service. It was agreed to contribute £500 towards the service.

Members also considered a draft proposal for maintenance of the Isle of Wight Council (discretionary) Planning Enforcement services. However, in the light of concerns regarding the regulation of access to the service, no financial support was given.

Vickie Ford, Parish Clerk