MP Agrees With Islanders’ Concerns Over Housebuilding Proposals

Andrew George, MP

Andrew George, MP

Scilly’s MP says he agrees with islanders who have opposed proposals to build up to 120 homes on St Mary’s.

Consultants Ash Futures made the recommendation in their economic strategy report for the Council, which was published earlier this year.

Their expert had worked previously at the former Regional Development Agency, which also used to employ Council Development Officer Diana Mompoloki and current Chief Executive Theo Leijser.

The report says that extra homes need to be built to accommodate workers and entrepreneurs who may move here to start up businesses using the faster internet when it comes.

But MP Andrew George says the mood of islanders attending his public meeting on Wednesday was against the homebuilding plan and he’d back that view.

Mr George says he’d rather keep planning restrictions in place so new homes are reserved for local need. He says open-market housing can’t be restricted to any particular buyers and they could get snapped up by second homeowners or investors.

There have been concerns that some of the Council’s recent public consultations haven’t been as thorough as they should have been.

Andrew says he’s told the Council he would expect islanders to share views on any developments and for those views to be taken into account.

And he says there will have to be another public consultation before any major project like the new home building got underway because it involves changes being made to the local plan.

But he feels some aspects of the Ash Futures report are useful, particularly issues affecting the islands’ infrastructure and long-term care.

Andrew is urging councillors to talk to the community to allay any uncertainties and concerns about the strategy.