Disappointment Over Lack Of Plans For Off-Island Housing

A recent social housing scheme on Bryher

A recent social housing scheme on Bryher

A St Martin’s councillor says he’s disappointed that there are no plans being put forward for more affordable housing on the off-islands.

Colin Daly was speaking at yesterday’s Community Services meeting, where Housing Officer Ian Hamilton told members that production of a new Housing Strategy for Scilly had been put on hold.

That’s because there’s still no updated Local Plan in place.

Cllr Daly said in his experience, producing one “could take several years.”

Ian confirmed that a draft of the Housing Strategy had been written, but that no proposals for any additional off-island housing had been included.

He said they’d managed to get money for the Well Cross social housing development on St Mary’s, and that was currently going ahead.

But getting money for the off-islands would be “almost impossible” he said, because the cost of building there was so high.

“It was a real battle to get what we got,” said Ian, referring to the seven units built in 2011 on St Agnes, St Martin’s and Bryher.

Colin said the accommodation on his home island were well received and had allowed changes to take place in six households.

But he felt that not including more homes in the future strategy was “a chicken and egg problem.”

If you don’t include it, you don’t get funding, he said.

Committee Chairman, Richard McCarthy said they’re still pressing ahead with plans for the former school site at Carn Thomas.

They were also looking at forming a Community Land Trust for a proposed development at Telegraph.

And while Cllr Gordon Bilsborough questioned the generosity of the Duchy in releasing land for new schemes, Cllr McCarthy said that they had been “quite helpful” on the off-islands, offering long leases at a peppercorn rent.

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