New draft of Island Planning Strategy to be discussed

Published: 5 December 2023

House building. Photo: Getty Images

Councillors on the policy and scrutiny committee for neighbourhoods and regeneration will be presented with an updated draft of the Island Planning Strategy (IPS) next week (Tuesday 12 December).  

The Draft IPS sets out the overall approach towards future development on the Island and the policies to be used in assessing planning applications. The draft plan includes policies that mean:

  • affordable homes are even more affordable to Islanders;
  • more protection is given to the countryside; and
  • new homes will be net zero carbon.

This is the first step in seeking overall councillor approval to move the draft plan to the next stage, where the council will publish the Draft IPS and open a six-week window for people to make comments. 

The plan balances social, economic and environmental issues and fronts up to some difficult decisions such as planning for 453 homes per year until 2037, and of these 2,358 already have planning permission. This is nearly 40 per cent below the amount of housing the government expects the Island to deliver.   

The Draft IPS has undergone comprehensive consultation since the process started back in late 2018.

There have been two rounds of public consultation on versions of the draft plan in late 2018 and the summer of 2021, both of which lasted for a longer time than required to ensure people had the opportunity to get involved.

Thousands of comments were received and where possible the plan has changed to take them on board.

There has also been regular engagement with all ward councillors over the past five years with a significant number of progress updates while also ensuring that each version of the draft plan passes through scrutiny committees prior to Cabinet and Full Council being asked to make a decision.

Ollie Boulter, strategic manager for planning and infrastructure, said: “A new Island Planning Strategy is absolutely vital when it comes to our ability to determine where development takes place on the Island.

"Agreeing a new plan will give us the tools to tackle key issues affecting the Island and our residents such as the affordability of new homes, ensuring that permissions granted are built out and that new development contributes to the objectives of our Climate and Environment Strategy.

"All comments received have been read and considered, but I understand not everyone will think their views have been taken into account.

"If that is the case, and should the plan pass through Full Council in January, I would encourage you to tell us once again what changes you think should be made, and why, in the next round of public consultation so your views can be passed onto the independent planning inspector.”

What happens next?

The scrutiny committee will review the Draft IPS and report any recommendations to Cabinet.

The document is still subject to change and councillors could agree amendments at the Cabinet meeting on 11 January.

Full Council will consider the Draft IPS on 17 January. If approved, the plan will undergo a further period of public consultation. This provides an opportunity for anyone who believes their views have not been taken account of to send those views in.

After that it will be submitted to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities who will appoint a planning inspector to consider the public comments made, hold public hearings and produce a final report.

Once this process is completed, the council will have the opportunity to adopt the local plan based on the inspector’s recommendations.

More details on the process the Draft IPS has already been through, and still has to go through can be found on the council's website.