Village proposals were met with open-minds

From left, Southampton City Council leader Simon Letts, Portsmouth City Council leader Donna Jones, and Isle of Wight Council leader Jonathan Bacon sign the formal application for a Solent Combined Authority in 2016

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PLANS to develop land in Knowle were met with open minds at a consultation.

Residents from Knowle and Wickham were invited to see and comment on the proposals which could see sections of the village developed to include more footpaths, benches and houses.

On Saturday, a walk was held with representatives from planning consultancy firm, WYG. They told residents of the potential plans on behalf of land owner Graham Moyse.

Alistair Harris, director of the company, said the consultation was held to see if people living in the villages would be open the plans.

‘We are not suggesting that anything is going to happen in the village,’ he said.

‘The plans include making footpaths to open up areas to the public and putting in picnic benches but nothing that will spoil the natural beauty of the land.

‘There is also seven hectares of land which we have put forward as a residential area. We haven’t thought about how many houses could be built there but with that size of land and the density of Knowle currently, there could be 180 to 200 houses.’

Mr Harris added that if the residents agreed in principal then more detailed plans would be made and open for a consultation. But if they opposed the idea, the proposals would not be brought forward.

For Knowle resident Richard Gulvin the plan is a no-brainer.

The 52-year-old said: ‘I think it is a no-brainer for the community.

‘I think it is very good because they are giving us access to more green spaces and the bridle way.’

He added: ‘I live closest to the site where the houses could be built and it doesn’t bother me.

‘It will be a great loss if we reject them.’

But for Brian Oswald, there are a few concerns.

The Wickham resident said: ‘I am open to the plans and they could be good.

‘But with Welborne nearby, the roads will be even more congested.

‘If 200 houses are built, there could be up to 400 cars using the main routes in and around the village along with Welborne traffic.’