Isle of Wight Green Party is urging the public to submit their objections to the proposed 475 housing development on land at Westridge Farm, Ryde as the deadline for the public consultation ends this Friday (11th September).
The Green Party executive committee have submitted their own formal objection (see below) detailing the loss of prime agricultural land and wildlife habitat, the lack of analysis of flood risk and impact of climate change, and the dependence on car transport for the development.
Current crisis in planning regulations
In addition, the local party are contacting members and supporters to urge them to object to the plans, and are holding the Conservative Government and Isle of Wight Council responsible for the current crisis in planning regulations which will only lead to even more completely inappropriate development in our countryside and our towns.
Lowthion: Post-covid bonfire of planning regulations
Vix Lowthion, IW Green Party spokesperson, said,
“This is a catastrophic failure at the heart of our Council and national government.
“Our local Island Plan still is incomplete, plus the Boris Johnson government have pledged a post-covid bonfire of planning regulations. This means that our Island has now defaulted to the pro-development National Planning Policy Framework, which has significant consequences for a rural isolated community such as the Isle of Wight.”
James: Islanders will be losers
Daniel James, Chair of the IW Greens, continued,
“We know how badly local people need new homes, but building huge estates on prime agricultural land is not the solution. Our MP’s intervention in our local council’s process of housing allocation has led to strategic paralysis. The lack of clarity of figures in terms of our five year housing supply has removed the barriers to inappropriate development all across the Island.
“Meanwhile, the Conservative Government is now proposing massive increases in house building. This may be a win-win for short term speculators, but Islanders and our countryside will certainly be the losers.”
Deadline for the public consultation on this Planning Application 20/01061/FUL is this Friday, 11th September.
OBJECTION to the Proposed 475 housing development on land known as Westridge Farm, Ryde.
The Isle of Wight Green Party strongly object to the plans to build hundreds of houses on a greenfield site, joining up the urban areas of Ryde, Nettlestone and Seaview into one large conurbation (against SP1 of the Island Core Strategy).
The loss of the dairy farm on this site is to be regretted as the Isle of Wight has already lost many dairy farms in the last 25 years, leaving us with only 10 dairy farms. But this 38 hectare site is prime agricultural land – classified by DEFRA as Grade 2 and 3 agricultural land. The Isle of Wight needs to become more, not less, self-sufficient in producing food. Once built upon, this agricultural land will be lost forever.
We recognise the very real need for more provision for housing for local people, but building huge estates on prime agricultural land is not the solution. There are an abundance of brownfield and lower grade land which can be utilised for local and affordable housing – this is the wrong site for a housing development on this scale.
This planning application does not comply with the local planning policy SP5 (Environment core strategy) and DM13 (Green infrastructure) as it does not protect, conserve or enhance the island’s natural environment. This planning application will also be car dependent and add to road congestion, as it allows for an extra 1,076 parking spaces on the site! This planning application does not include a site-specific Flood Risk Assessment and fails to take the impact of climate change into account.
This planning application also fails to meet the housing needs of Ryde and the surrounding areas, as it will provide large 3 and 4 bedroom houses and not the smaller 1 and 2 bed starter homes. Finally, this planning application fails to take protection of local wildlife seriously, with inadequate provision for bats, badgers and other small mammals as well as destruction of hedgerows and natural habitats.
We urge the IW Council to reject this planning application, and others similar in scale and impact.
News shared by Vix Lowthion on behalf of Isle of Wight Green Party. Ed
Image: © Jax Kerr