The plight of the Isle of Wight’s Holliday Family from Westridge Farm, Ryde received national attention this morning on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
The segment featured Nigel Holliday, who grew up on and works on the farm, as well as Isle of Wight Conservative MP, Bob Seely, who said under the new planning proposals announced by the Government last week, that “we’re going to lose democratic control”.
He argued that if people are outraged by loss of planning control or objections to specific major developments, MPs could lose seats in the next election.
Save Westridge Farm campaign
With less than ten dairy farms left of the Isle of Wight, the campaign to save Westridge Farm has bounced back into full force once again, after plans were lodged with the council for 475 news homes on the farm land.
On the Today programme, Nigel explained that to see the landscape in front of him “all go under concrete breaks his heart”.
You can watch eight-year-old Archie share his plea below
Former farmland being “decimated”
Readers will remember the hard-fought planning application in May 2017 that saw permission granted for 80 new homes, resulting in the land the Holliday family once farmed “being decimated” in front of them.
The photo below shows the view from their window in June 2016 and June 2020.
A successful dairy farm
The Holliday family have farmed the land at Westridge Farm since 1966 as tenant farmers. They are custodians of this land and have worked tirelessly for over 50 years.
They say that although they lost 11 acres to the 80 homes development, Westridge Farm has continued as a successful dairy farm.
The Holliday family say they will lose their home, livelihoods and everything they have worked for over the last 50 years if planning permission is granted for this development.
Lilley: Was driven to tears by the cruelty
Isle of Wight councillor for Ryde East, Michael Lilley, told News OnTheWight,
“I was delighted to get the call yesterday morning from the BBC Radio 4’s to link them to the Holliday family at Westridge Farm.
“I am glad our MP, Bob Seely is standing with this Ryde farming family.
“I was moved hearing granddad, Bernard, dad, Nigel, and Son, Archie (eight years old) stand together speaking to the reporter. I was in tears.
“Why does this Island family during Covid-19 have to face this planning application for 475 houses that destroys their lives.
“It is cruelty, we need this farm and beautiful historic countryside not unaffordable homes that are not needed. It has to be stopped. I call all Islanders to stand by the Hollidays.”
The developer, Captiva, argue that over 400 families would get much-needed new homes with 160 being ‘affordable homes’.
You can listen to the segment again on BBC Sounds (skip to 2.40 in).
You can follow the campaign on Facebook by Liking the Save Westridge Farm Page.
Have your say
To view all planning documents relating to West Acre Park and to comment on the application, you can search 20/01061/FUL on the Isle of Wight Council’s planning portal.
People can comment on the proposals until 11th September 2020.