MAJOR plans that will transform and regenerate East Cowes have taken a significant step forward.
The partners involved in £200 million-plus East Cowes Project have agreed a timetable in which the first phase of the development will be delivered. They have also formed a partnership Project Board, comprising key stakeholders, that will meet regularly to ensure the scheme – in what will be the most ambitious scheme of its type ever undertaken on the Island – continues to progress though to its intended finish date in 2014.
At their meeting last week, also attended by the town’s three local IW Council members, the details on the timing of the first phase of the project were agreed.
This first phase involves a new road linking up to 200 new homes with new town centre development including a retail foodstore and community facilities such a health centre and public square.
Following receipt of detailed planning permission detailed plans for the link road and the first phase of housing will be submitted in the coming months and it is intended work on the road will now begin in spring next year with a start on housing shortly thereafter.
Cllr David Pugh, cabinet member for regeneration said:
Behind the scenes, all the partners have been working together to come up with a scheme that is of the highest quality and is right for East Cowes and the wider community. We have made good progress and that will be translated now into action on the ground. This is a tremendously exciting scheme that will bring huge investment into East Cowes. While work on the first phase gathers pace we will continue to look at the other phases to be sure what we as partners are doing will bring the best possible development and investment to the town. East Cowes is a gateway town and we want to make sure this complex development establishes it as a world class location of which residents can be proud.”
South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) Development Director Peter Cusdin said:
Delivering this important scheme to create a quality gateway to the Island is a complex process. With the new project board in place and the planning consent to be issued shortly we have a clear route forward agreed with the partners. SEEDA will be bringing forward the new town centre as the first phase of this exciting new development early next year. Future elements of the scheme will also see the development of marine-related industry, transport interchange facilities and future proposals envisage a new 300-berth marina.
David Ashworth, Area Director for Southern England at English Partnerships said:
English Partnerships is investing over £7 million in the project and is looking forward to working with our partners to deliver high quality housing and the sustainable redevelopment of East Cowes. We anticipate the appointment of a development partner to deliver new housing on the site by January 2008 following a detailed development selection process, with which Isle of Wight will be involved, and the finalization of the planning consent.
The English Partnerships’ led first phase of residential development will deliver approximately 190 homes, over 50 of which will be much-needed affordable homes for people. English Partnerships have worked hard to bring together a short list of innovative development partners who will continue working with the community to deliver affordable homes as part of a well designed development.
Furthermore the short listed developers share the commitment of English Partnerships, SEEDA, the local community and the Council to achieve the best possible redevelopment of East Cowes.