Peter Gruner shares this report from Ryde.
Residents squeezed into a small Ryde Town Council committee room to discuss “traffic mayhem” which they expected from planned expansion of a local industrial estate.
But a plea by protestors – including a letter from Ryde Mayor Cllr Michael Lilley – that the meeting be cancelled and held at another time, at a larger venue, where planners could be questioned by the public, was turned down.
As reported by OnTheWight plans to expand Ryde Business Park by building new homes, a GP surgery, gym and cafe have been drawn up by the Isle of Wight Council. A planning application has been submitted by the council, as part of its regeneration strategy, to improve access to community facilities at the Nicholson Road site.
Proposed road system “was inadequate”
Residents and councillors at last Tuesday’s town council planning meeting said they feared more noise and pollution, heavy traffic and rat runs. The scheme includes 18 one-bedroom flats, a community centre, retail units and light industry.
The committee, while supporting in principle the two planning applications, which will provide jobs and new homes, expressed concern that the proposed road system was inadequate.
Local residents complained that the planned doctor’s surgery would be “remote and inaccessible” without a car.
Cllr Phil Jordan worried that Ashey Road and Great Preston Road already posed problems.
“Traffic is bad at school run times early morning or afternoon. Parts of the roads have become rat runs.”
A “missed opportunity”
Local resident Jenny Wade said she was “saddened and disappointed” that the committee had decided not to hold a special public meeting.
“It’s a missed opportunity where residents could ask important questions like where are the safe pedestrian crossings, traffic calming measures, and the air pollution study?”
Jordan: Still plenty of time for proper public meeting
Cllr Jordan said after the meeting that he supported a proper public meeting as soon as possible.
“This development has taken years to get where we are today. The planners decided that the public will just get about three weeks to look at the proposals. It’s laughable.
“This scheme is only seeking outline planning permission so there is still plenty of time for a final detailed planning application and a proper public meeting.”