OnTheWight always welcomes a Letter to the Editor to share with our readers – unsurprisingly they don’t always reflect the views of this publication. If you have something you’d like to share, get in touch and of course, your considered comments are welcome below.
This from Cllr Michael Lilley, Ryde
In Ryde East, my community and citizens have faced like everyone on the Isle of Wight and the United Kingdom, the traumatic and frightening experience of Covid-19 pandemic and crisis. Our whole world has been turned upside down. It already seems clear that the eventual outcome of Covid-19 will not be “business as usual”.
Two large planning applications
Ryde East residents are now faced with two large planning applications that have been published just in time for the summer break that will change the area forever and deeply affect their lives. These include Nicholson Road Development and West Acre Park.
In relation to West Acre Park and the 475 new houses it encompasses residents have up to 11th September to object.
One resident said to me:
“How very wrong the timing of the objections being 11th September. A large amount of objectors will have had their children off school for six months since March due to Covid so are preoccupied.
“The run up to 11th September for a lot of people will be with the return of their children to school after all this time as it’s not a normal return to school with social distancing the logistics of staggered start/finish times and people returning to work etc!
“And also the potential of a second wave hitting too! It is sheer cruelty!”
The further reality is that when this comes to IW Council Committee it will be December and Christmas.
The farming family, including young children, could be faced with not only a second outbreak of Covid-19 but the reality of 2021 bringing homelessness and no job.
Perhaps I am being cynical but perhaps “business as usual” for developers and landowners is to tactically put in applications when residents are at their weakest and preoccupied.
So the school holidays, a pandemic, and Xmas are good times to reduce the number of objections. As a community we need to shout loudly from the roof tops that we have a voice and we have rights. “Business is not as usual” and the World has changed.
The planning conventions, protocols, processes and procedures are not fit for purpose and are stacked in favour of those proposing large developments.
A David and Goliath battle
It is a David and Goliath battle of the ordinary citizens facing the real hardship and reality of the World’s greatest crisis since the Second World War against those who simply wish to make profit.
We have to have a Spartacus moment and stand up and all say “I am Spartacus” and together say no to these large developments that destroy our green fields and farming and no to the tricks of the development trade that stifle our voice and rights.
Start saying “No!”
We have to stand up and simply start saying no.
If 140,000 Island residents of all ages start saying no, perhaps the planners, developers, politicians and the landowners will start hearing.