Wight Bowmen fight to protect their field from Island Plan development

The club have leased the field from the Isle of Wight Council for almost 50 years.

bob seely with wight bowmen

MP Robert Seely is backing the Wight Bowmen Archery Club in their attempt to stop their field being used for housing development.

Their club home, Appley field, is earmarked for development in the Island Plan – a document which fulfils Government-imposed housing targets. The plan targets the greenfield site for the construction of at least 25 homes.

Dyer: Leased land for almost 50 years
Wight Bowmen Chairman, Stuart Dyer said:

“We’ve been leasing our field from the council since 1970, not only paying rent but undertaking all management works ourselves, therefore our leasehold has no drain on the public purse. We’ve already asked for an extended lease to 2050.

“In 1998 our club wanted to build further facilities on our field but planning permission was refused by the council because they would not agree to any development in a strategic green gap.”

Club member, Lee Grace said:

“If we lost our field, our club would probably close.”

Seely: Asking IWC to think again
Bob met with the club at their field to hear their concerns and received an 80-named petition calling for the field to be removed from the Island Plan.

Bob Seely MP and Cllr Michael Lilley
Bob Seely MP and Cllr Michael Lilley

Bob said:

“I’ll be sending the petition to the council asking them to think again about what they’re signing up to in the Island Plan and asking them to put the needs of Islanders first. I have already contacted the Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing.”

Abraham: Sympathetic
Cllr Barry Abraham, Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing, said:

“I’m sympathetic to the Wight Bowmen being able to retain the use of the land and will be asking officers to look at this site again with a view to removing it from the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment.”

Whittle: Favour historic community leisure designation
Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Business Development, Cllr Wayne Whittle, said:

“Regeneration has many strands including arts, sport and culture. We need all of these on the Island for locals to enjoy and to provide a diverse tourism offer. I favour its historic community leisure designation.”

Seely: Regeneration, but not at any cost
Bob said:

“I’m encouraged by the response from Cllr Abraham who clearly understands the need to balance development with preserving all that makes the Island special. We need new housing and we need regeneration but not at any cost.”

MP’s petition
Last month Bob launched a petition opposing 9,000 new homes on the Island.

Bob said:

“I’m interested to hear what constituents think about the Island Plan and I encourage everyone to sign my petition and complete the survey which can be found on the Website.

“It’s vital that people have a say now while there is a chance to influence the plan.

Tuesday, 16th April, 2019 10:10am


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Filed under: Appley, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Planning, Top story

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4 Comments on "Wight Bowmen fight to protect their field from Island Plan development"

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Sometimes, you just get airbrushed out. As the Ryde East Ward Independent Green Councillor, I was not only there with the IW Bowmen, I was the Councillor who raised this issue with planners at IW Council and have been tirelessly campaigning to get Appley Field not only taken out of the new proposed Island plan’s designated housing area but get it coventanted from IW Council as Green… Read more »
Sally Perry

That’s incredibly wrong of Bob Seely’s office to not mention your involvement at all, nor include any quotes from you.

Sally Perry

I have found one of the photos sent does have you in it and have added to the article.

Thank you, Sally, for spotting and adding me. I cannot comment regarding Bob’s office but I can comment that I hope the commitments by Bob and IW Council Cabinet members are followed through and Appley Field is taken out of the proposed Island Plan and permanently preserved as Green Space for sport and leisure. I enjoyed my afternoon of archery and recommend it as a sport for… Read more »