Two Isle of Wight Council-owned sites will be 'disposed of' after the authority failed to find someone who would be willing to build houses there.

For years the council has been trying to find a partner to develop two parts of Venture Quays in East Cowes — the Maresfield Road Car Park and the land opposite, which is currently home to Island business Teemill, an offshoot of Rapanui.

The council bought the parcels of land making up Venture Quays in 2020 for a total of £1.3 million, and as part of the deal with Homes England had to build houses on the car park and warehouse space.

The deadlines for delivering the site had been pushed back twice with the latest meaning the council had to have secured planning permission by March 2024 and start development by March 2025, or risk having to sell the land back to the government for £1.

Isle of Wight County Press: Plots three and four were meant for housing.Plots three and four were meant for housing.

Now the Isle of Wight Council has confirmed it is getting rid of two sites after a 'failed procurement exercise'.

The council's internal auditor said both projects had been impacted by the dissolution of the authority's regeneration team, as there had been changes in the senior staff responsible for them.

In a report to last week's audit committee, the internal auditor said the Housing Member Board had recently approved the disposal of the sites.

A council spokesperson has said getting rid of the sites "is currently seen as the best way to bring the land forward for housing" as it is still a requirement of the contract with Homes England.

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The council had taken the sites off its work plan in November last year, as council leader, Cllr Phil Jordan said there was "no way of moving it forward at this stage".

The authority was looking for other options to use the land after a feasibility study in 2022 determined it had 'severe negative viability' and there was 'no interest from an affordable housing provider'.

The council spokesperson said the rest of the Venture Quays sites — the Albany Barracks and the Columbine Building — are excluded from this particular contract.

They said the council was not looking to hand any land back to Homes England.