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"You cannot dismantle history for someone's personal gain."

Whitwell residents around the historic hydrant. <i>(Image: IWCP)</i>
Whitwell residents around the historic hydrant. (Image: IWCP)

'Don't dismantle history for personal gain' Whitwell residents are telling the Isle of Wight Council over plans to move a listed, historic water hydrant, which is more than 100 years old.

The Grade II cast iron structure on Whitwell High Street was built in 1887 by Glenfield and Co and is one of a series of hydrants in the village.

To facilitate a new road to a proposed housing development, permission is being sought to move the hydrant 1.5m to the north.

Perry Properties has an application with the Isle of Wight Council to build 22 homes on School House Meadow, which it first submitted in 2021.

It could then be installed into the rebuilt stone boundary wall of the neighbouring property.

The plans have been met with outrage from residents and so far, 29 objections have been submitted to the Isle of Wight Council.

Isle of Wight County Press:
Isle of Wight County Press:

Speaking today (Tuesday), members of Locals Against Whitwell Sprawl (LAWS) said the hydrant is 'owned by the village' and as a listed asset should not be moved for planning purposes.

One member of the group said it would be a shame if the hydrant was moved as it is part of the village's heritage and Whitwell was being blighted by the development.

The hydrant has been moved before although one resident said it was for the safety of the village to widen the road and make pavements. This proposal, they said, would be for the 'danger of the village' as an 'unwanted estate' is going to be built with a road that Island Roads has 'condemned' a number of times, saying it 'would be dangerous'.

Moving it the first time around was a necessity, another said, but now it was not and there was no reason to do it.

Another spoke out against infilling at the back of the houses, and said: "We want to keep the village as it is."

Ward councillor, Claire Critchison, said the strength of community feeling over moving the hydrant was evident.

She said it was an important feature of the village and to relocate something with historic relevance would be very emotive and alters the character of the village.

You can view the plans, 23/01508/LBC, on the Isle of Wight Council's planning register. Comments can be made until September 29.

Niton and Whitwell Parish Council will be meeting Monday, September 25, at 7.15pm, at Whitwell Village Hall where the application will be discussed.