At last night’s Freshwater Parish Council meeting, councillors and the public in attendance heard more about the Isle of Wight Road Races (IWRR) event planned for 20th-24th October 2021.
Following last night’s Freshwater meeting, local residents are demanding further answers from the Isle of Wight Council cabinet about how much support the council have given to IWRR, and whether the safety and community impacts have been thoroughly considered.
Stewart: No formal approval
In an email trail that News OnTheWight has seen between the leader of the council, Dave Stewart, and Cllr John Medland, the leader explains that approval has not yet been given for IWRR. He says,
“There is no formal approval by cabinet on this matter as the proposal has not reached this stage.”
Impact on roads
As with the Diamond Races hard road closures would be necessary along the route, with the removal of all road signs, street furniture and even cat’s eyes.
The Parish Council meeting was told an estimated 10,000 spectators will attend in the first year, with the event based at Tapnell Farm.
James: Event counters green environment attractive to visitors
Daniel James, Freshwater Parish councillor and Green Party candidate for Freshwater North and Yarmouth said,
“Having attended a presentation for local councillors by the organisers of this proposed road race, I am not convinced that the event can be made safe especially along the cliff edges or would be good for the West Wight generally.
“Motorcycle racing would run counter to the direction of travel that we have worked so hard for on the Island – to create a green environment which is attractive to visitors and local people alike.
“I am not opposed to new public events in Freshwater, but the promoters of these races need to think again.”
Lowthion: “Where is the clear, open and transparent planning process for an event of this size?”
Vix Lowthion, Isle of Wight Green Party chair added,
“The building of a private garage or a dozen bell tents have to go through a formal and robust planning process with several stakeholders including the public, landowners and local councils.
“Where is the clear, open and transparent planning process for an event of this size?
“Consultation through shiny presentations at parish council meetings seem like an ineffective tick-box exercise for something with such significant consequences for this rural community.”
Alldred: Genuine and legitimate concerns
Doug Alldred, Green Party candidate for Brighstone, Calbourne and Shalfleet added,
“The Island has a unique and successful reputation on the UK events calendar, but this means we need to be cautious and responsible about the type of event we encourage to our shores, especially within our AONB.
“I’ve been in touch with several residents of Brook, and a surprising number of tourism businesses who have genuine and legitimate concerns regarding the races’ impact on road safety and year-round tourism. Personally, I feel this second proposal is the wrong event in the wrong location, and should not be supported without a radical and comprehensive rethink.”
Share your views
The Isle of Wight Green Party are inviting Islanders to have their say through their online survey.
Image: © With kind permission of Emma Gee