Redevelopment at the Folly

Redevelopment of the river bank in the vicinity of the Folly Inn, a popular spot for visitors on the River Medina above Cowes on the Isle of Wight is overdue. A planning application has been made, and Solent Protection society has made the following submission.


TCP/01419/U – P/00102/14
Folly Works Folly Lane East Cowes Isle Of Wight PO32 Proposed mixed use development comprising hotel and associated infrastructure formation of jetty creation of new access road with junction to Beatrice Avenue and works to Folly Lane construction of 14 business units shop and cafe river users facilities ecological enhancement and mitigation works including works to foreshore construction of residential development comprising 82 houses and a building containing 17 apartments (99 dwellings in total)


The Solent Protection Society, formed in 1956, exists to safeguard the amenities of the Solent area and do everything possible to preserve their beauty for our own and future generations.  This includes the tidal estuaries and the lower tidal reaches of the rivers feeding into the Solent .

The Society welcomes the proposal to bring forward appropriate development for the Folly Works brownfield site and is broadly supportive of the scheme proposed, which has been carefully thought out and provides good background information.

The Society does, however, have some concerns particularly in relation to the river frontage and these are set out below:

  1. SPS consider that the front riverside houses are too close to the bank such that they will be disruptive to the tranquil zone, over dominant in the river scene and with a lack of variety in the elevational treatment and roofscape.
  2. There is a concern about light pollution particularly from the extensive glazed areas  to the river frontage houses and so it will be important to have a denser tree screen than shown along the frontage and to ensure that this is maintained in future by suitable planning conditions.
  3. Smaller or screened window areas, particularly at first floor level, would also help to reduce light pollution of what is generally a dark and peaceful environment at night, and which would be more sympathetic to the bird and other wildlife of the area.
  4. SPS support the riverside walk that extends from Newport to the Folly and would wish to see public pedestrian access provided across the frontage of the proposed scheme and extended up the northern boundary to meet the existing footpath to Whippingham. Continuing to use Folly Lane does not achieve any improvement.
  5. SPS consider that while the hotel is below the tree line when seen as a straight elevation from the opposite bank it will appear more dominant from the river. It appears over large in relation to the Folly Inn and so the bulk should perhaps be stepped down sooner at the southern end.
  6. The hotel together with the business units are, however an important part of the mix on the site and SPS would expect planning conditions that limit the extent of housing/flats that can be built without the full infrastructure, employment and hotel uses being developed in advance.
  7. SPS would not expect to see further pontoons within the river or associated with the new pier
  8. The scheme proposes more houses than originally proposed such that the site is looking over developed. We would strongly advise that the numbers should be reduced in order to give more space for a controlled tree screen along the river frontage – as proposed in the areas behind.


Additional views of the proposal can be seen by clicking here . An enlarged version of the site plon can be seen by clicking here..