‘We will lose our home’’ — that was the grim message from a farmer affected by plans to build 475 houses on the outskirts of Ryde.
At a meeting of Ryde Town Council’s planning committee earlier this week, the authority agreed the plans for West Acre Park were not suitable for its town.
Developer declined to attend meeting
The development is being proposed for Westridge Farm, by Captiva Homes, who declined an invitation to attend the meeting and present its proposals.
It would also include a GP surgery, a cafe and landscaped public spaces.
Campaigning to save home
Tenant farmer Nigel Holliday and his family have been campaigning to save their home and livelihood for future generations — which, by law, Mr Holliday says should be able to be passed down to two further generations of the family..
In a passionate speech, Mr Holliday said following the loss of 11 acres to the building of 86 homes, also by Captiva, his family were led to believe there would be no further developments.
Holliday: If approved we will lose our home and livelihood
“Our family are part of the Ryde community. If this application is successful then we will be forced to leave and we will be left with very little to move on and rebuild our lives.
“We have ambitions for the future to pasteurise and sell our milk to the community, but we are unable to move forward with this investment, for our future, with this application hanging over us.
“If this application is approved we will lose our home and livelihood and the IW would lose yet another dairy farm and Ryde would lose this green space forever.”
76 against, seven for the development
A total of 83 people responded to a call for views from the town council — 76 were against but seven were for.
Cllr Henry Adams said:
“The development is far too big for this part of Ryde, there is already enough traffic in the area and it will be far more when and if Hope Road is finished.
“This development is all about greed with no respect to the residents who have lived here for many years.”
Cllr Diana Conyers, planning committee chair, said:
“It is pretty evident we are in general against this development.”
Concerns raised by the town council included the pressure on infrastructure — schools, doctors and roads — the fact the development is outside the settlement boundary, the loss of wildlife and that the affordable housing is not affordable to Islanders.
An official objection will be submitted by Ryde Town Council to the IW Council’s planning portal by today (Friday) when the consultation for the application closes.
This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. Some alterations and additions may be been made by OnTheWight. Ed