Letter: Start saying ‘No’ to cruelty of putting in large planning applications during Covid

Councillor Lilley says residents need to start standing up and saying no to large scale developments that “destroy our green fields and farming”

artist's impression of West Acre Park

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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”. 

However, private developers and Isle of Wight Council in my Ward and in other parts of the Island such as developing drilling in Arreton or housing on Seaclose Park, simply see “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!”

Christmas decision
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.

Sceptical view
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.

Monday, 3rd August, 2020 9:23am


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Filed under: Letter to the Editor, Planning, Ryde, Isle of Wight

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7 Comments on "Letter: Start saying ‘No’ to cruelty of putting in large planning applications during Covid"

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Phil Jordan
In addition to a range of planning issues which these types of development throw up, we have the ongoing and growing problem of infrastructure. Not just road junctions in the vicinity of developments but further afield from those developments. Through routes in Ryde, as an example, using St John’s Hill and the Queens Road/Argyll Street junctions. Traffic volumes also heading out through to Havenstreet and Brading especially… Read more »
I couldn’t agree more, Phil.There have been many developments passed with little regard to the impact of the extra traffic. One only has to look at all the industrial and trading estates between the Medina river and Newport which are often gridlocked at going home time. Westridge Cross is already poor and the road down to Smallbrook from that junction is often jam packed. Unfortunately the government… Read more »
There is plenty of opportunity to build on sites other than green fields, I mean look at the eye sore in Ryde, the disused holiday park just up from Appley beach, why hasn’t that been compulsory purchased? ….and if we are thinking of going green, how about building the very best, high quality, green sustainable houses for the poorest on our island, rather than the cheapest tatty… Read more »
All planning applications for building on green or brownfield sites should be delayed until Covid 19 is not a huge threat. Then see how many empty shops and offices there are in the high streets and convert those buildings into affordable houses and flats. Would look much better than empty shops and there will be plenty due to internet shopping and working from home and the change… Read more »
I do not understand why one would willingly build on farm land. We have seen the panic caused by the rumour of a toilet paper shortage imagine what a real food shortage will be like. If we are going to have areas of new development please make sure they add to the environment and our tourist industry with progressive designs and not ‘period’ housing with tiny windows,… Read more »
Dear Councillor, people, many hundreds, if not thousands, have been saying ‘no’ for many years past, As an example, Pennyfeathers being at least 6 years past in the making, for all the reasons so cogently and oft stated previously and repeated herein. People raising such eminently sensible objections have been and are consistently ignored. For the Council to state they are merely following government policy ( like… Read more »
Eagle eye
This planning application needs a judicial review. It has, I believe, been manipulated from the start with the Hope Road development being pushed through. Mr Pink states that the area was deemed suitable for housing – no it wasn’t. The area was outside the development area until the dubious way planning permission was granted for Hope Road. Captiva also claimed they engaged with residents – no they… Read more »