Delay In New Housing Strategy ‘Slipped In’ To Report

Councillor Colin Daly

Councillor Colin Daly

A St Martin’s councillor has criticised delays in producing a new housing strategy for the islands.

Cllr Colin Daly was surprised that a report brought to last week’s Community Services meeting contained a statement saying it was “premature to move forward” with the new strategy.

Colin said councillors had “made a lot of fuss” at the previous meeting that they wanted the plan and it was promised to them.

And he felt the delay had been “slipped in” to the report.

“I think we want this housing strategy done as a matter of urgency,” said Colin.

But Committee Chairman Richard McCarthy said it had been overtaken by other events.

It was dependent on the drafting of a new Local Plan and Richard said the subcommittee involved in writing that hadn’t even met yet.

Housing Officer Ian Hamilton said a draft housing strategy had already been written but it would be ”a complete waste of time for members to look at it at the moment” until the other documents had been written.

Ian said it was also part of the follow up to the Ash Futures economic strategy, which was published last summer.

Chairman of Planning Gaz O’Neill said “we’re trying to get our ducks in a row so we can move it forward in a logical fashion” but admitted the delay was “frustrating.”