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Wootton

Wootton By-pass, December 1969 - Draft Proposal

Meeting Held At Wootton School, Church Road, December 1969

The meeting on Monday 8th December at the new primary school was packed to capacity to here details of the proposed new by-pass for the village; Alderman Cartwright J.P. was in the chair. Mr Greenen [assistant county planning office] and Mr. Atrill from the same office were present to outline details of the proposed scheme and answer any questions.

Mr Greenen opened the meeting with an explanation of the background to the plan, this included for the joining of Fishbourne and Wootton as one village. He further went on to say that Wootton had originally been named in the existing formal county development plan as village suitable as a rural centre to serve the cluster of settlements in which it was situated. It was concluded from Part 1 of the “Rural Policy for the Isle of Wight” that it was capable of major expansion in terms of population; the number of people currently living the village was 2700 and this would rise to 3500. It seemed that the function of Wootton was that of a dormitory area, being well positioned between Newport and Ryde and was also an attractive area in which to live. However there was very little employment or industry in the village, but tourist trade facilities saw the population double in the summer months. Shops and services were grouped in one area and the village seemed well catered for in terms of utility services.

Alternative Traffic Route

Next Mr. Geenen spoke about roads and car parking in the village; he said the village was cut in half by the main Newport to Ryde road, which was a Class ‘A’ road. It was expected that the traffic through the village would show a considerable increase over the next few years; therefore, it was reasonable to investigate an alternate route. The plan under consideration was a road to the south of the village from the bridge at the bottom of the High Street, up behind what is now Mary Rose Avenue, across Station Road, then down to rejoin the main road at the bottom of Lushington Hill. This scheme was considered to be reasonable with regard to cost and would preserve the village as an entity.

Editor Note; - The scheme outlined would have been constructed in two phases, initially from the bridge to Station Road where a traffic island would be constructed to allow traffic travelling to Newport to proceed down Station Road. Traffic using the new road and travelling to East Cowes would either have to go via the Cedars or Park Road. The second phase would see the road go through what is now the ‘Acorns’ housing development on through the wood down behind the houses in Lushington Hill and rejoin the main road near what is now Lushington Garden Centre. Mr.Greenen also said there were currently no pubic car parks within the village, and it was hoped to create two small areas to the south of the High Street.

Recreation And Amenities

Mr. Greenen then dealt with the facilities available within the village, he said, apart from the large recreation area by the school there was very little land allocated for public use. Access to the creek was limited to one small area, and it was hoped that further land could be acquired on both sides of the creek. The village had fairly well defined landscape lines, and certain physical features created natural boundaries. To the south of the village there was pleasant parklands and a belt of trees which were consider to be the southern limits of the village, however the new road would run to the south of this line for the first section. On the north side of the village there was an area of land, which had already been approved for development [St Edmunds], no further development was envisaged on the coastal belt due to its status.

Question And Answers

The meeting was then thrown for questions and given below is a summary of the main points.

In answer to a question, it was stated that the council were looking into scheme to improve the bridge area, he did not know the exact details, but it would be in the form of a footpath to separate pedestrians and vehicles.

A question was then asked if the scheme would attract government funding and it was confirmed that the proposed relief road would be eligible for a government grant of 75% of the costs.

A number of questions were asked about the cost of the proposed relief road; it was stated that it had not been costed, and the start was at least 10 to 15 years away.

Questions were then asked about further development to the south of the village as a result of the route of proposed by-pass. Mr.Greenen stated that it was the council’s intention that there would be no further development permitted beyond the line of the new road. Pressed further on the subject Mr.Greenen stated that in 30 years time, if further development was required it should expand away from the road and not to the south.

In response to questions about access to the creek it was said the council would have to try a negotiated with owners of adjacent land to see if arrangements could be made.

There was a request that a pedestrian crossing be provided in the High Street, Mr.Greenen agreed to pass the request on to the appropriate.

Summary

Much debate took place about the merits of the scheme and many attending had mixed views, in closing the meeting Alderman Howlett CC. [County Councillor for Fairlee Ward] said he was surprised that not everyone welcomed the scheme and asked the public to write in to the County Council by the end of the month with their objections.

Editors Notes:
There was much concern by residence of Station Road, due to the fact it was not a Wootton by-pass but a High Street by-pass and a lot of the traffic would be funnelled down Station Road.

It is my understanding that originally there were three routes under consideration for the by-pass, these were; -

  • A. To the north of the village again to meet up with the main road towards the bottom of Lushington Hill, this scheme was rejected as a result of planning permission being given for a large housing development in the St. Edmunds area.
  • B. From the bridge across the fields and over the railway line to join up with Briddlesford Road, this scheme was the most expensive and was rejected.
  • C. This left the option described in this article.

Footnote
Several years later a meeting chaired by Mr. P. Airey of Isle of Wight Council was held at the Community Centre in Brannon Way to vote on the proposal “Should Wootton have a by-pass”, after a heated discussion a vote was taken and the motion was rejected; Wootton would not have a by-pass.

Source: Isle of Wight County Press, 13th December 1969

This page was last edited on: 4th March, 2015 06:16:12

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