Report from I.W. Councillor John Nicholson

Posted by Admin on 24 August 2021, 6:29 pm




Ward Member for Northwood & Cowes South
Chairman of Policy & Scrutiny Committee for Adult Social Care & Health





PO31 8LT
Tel: 07918 757843



See the I.W. Councillor’s section





The Report appearing in the September 2021 edition of Northwood News:

Medical Centre Update

Cowes Medical Centre now has a new phone system, up and running. There are now good reports from people knowing where they are in the queue to be answered, and, as I understand it, staff have undergone training (with other medical centres) in how best to field enquiries helpfully. This is fantastic news, and we look forward to the Centre now engaging with local Councils and community organisations, who all want to help to get our medical centre to being one of the best on the Island. Thank you to everyone who has given constructive feedback on this drawn-out issue.

School Places Debacle

Northwood Parish has sent a letter to the head of Ormiston Academy expressing its disappointment with the way that this year’s school places allocation has been handled, right from the so-called consultation to how appeals were met. We are still awaiting a response.

Cowes& Northwood Place Plan (

Together, with the Isle of Wight Council Regeneration and Cowes Business Association, we have applied for a government grant to engage an events organiser for a Cowes & Northwood Place Fayre, the proposed dates being 9th & 10th October this year.

The idea is that we encourage food and drink outlets in the area, and through the town, to showcase what they can uniquely offer, suggesting sampling signature dishes or specialities in small portions at a modest promotional price. Alongside this we want our local businesses to offer open days, maybe taking a stand in a number of historic locations, and, of course, we will be encouraging our amazing heritage organisations to do something special as well.

Hopefully, we will be able to build on this at other times as well, so the Cowes peninsula can organise itself to celebrate and promote all the wonderful things that we uniquely have for other events and occasions, at the drop of a hat.

Planning Review

At last, our long-outdated and much-maligned Planning Policy is being reviewed. It has been reviewed before, but the results were not fit for purpose. This time, what we have been shown in briefings is far better aligned with what the Island needs and what most people want.

Changes include having a development boundary line that acts as a boundary line. Currently you can build outside the boundary, provided you still touch it, yet, bizarrely the restrictions that apply within the boundary don’t apply outside the line, so it has been some sort of anti-boundary, more worthy, in my assertions, of something Though The Looking Glass!

Other sensible changes are an emphasis on developing brown-field (existing and industrial) sites first, affording greater protection to our landscape and rural character.

I have long said that our Planning Policy needs to be coordinated with our other needs and policies, like health, environment and transport, To allocate 1.5 cars parking per new household, as I believe the current policy does, is clearly inadequate nonsense, as is not being able to take into account essential services and resources, such as GP capacity, infrastructure, etc.

Nevertheless, the proof will be in the pudding, and we are fortunate that the portfolio holder lives in Northwood and is a member of Cowes, Northwood and Gurnard Parishes, so all too aware of the strong feelings and need to get a Crystal Mark Policy that works for the Island and its people.

Highways Issues

Having succeeded in securing some improvements in road safety, I am still pursuing several other issues concerning road drainage and, with the help of the Parish, pedestrian safety, particularly down Pallance Road, where there is significant concern, especially when the main road is blocked, and Pallance Road becomes a bolt-hole for impatient drivers.

John Nicholson

Ward Councillor for Northwood & Cowes South

See the I.W. Councillor’s section

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