Objections List

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AFTER 11th SEPTEMBER 2020

Please make sure you send them in as soon as possible to ensure your objections are considered.

PLANNING APPLICATION number    20/01061/FUL

– 475 Properties West Acre Park (Westridge Farm)

We have listed many reasons to use in your objections to the planning application. A few are technical, but most are not.

This Objection List is constantly being updated but please do not delay sending in your objections – send them in as soon as possible. You can always send in further objections at a later date and all of your submissions will be considered.

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PDF – Objections List for Planning Application 20/01061/FUL updated 11/9/2020

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Please feel free to use, copy and paste any of the text but be sure to add some of your own as well in your objections.

This will make sure your Objections are counted and not dismissed as just being a copy of others. It is important you personalise your submission in some way.
– Doing this proves to the Planning Office that you have thought about what you want to say about the planning application.

HEADINGS:

– We strongly suggest you use headings when writing your letter of objection. It will help you organise the things you want to say.

CLICK ON A HEADING to scroll to the objection information:

ISLE OF WIGHT UNESCO BIOSPHERE RESERVE – UNDER THREAT

The isle of Wight was awarded UNESCO BIOSPHERE RESERVE on the 19th June 2019.

The application for this development was submitted just over a year later.  How is this development compatible with UNESCO status?

This development goes against all the principals of the UNESCO status and puts the island at risk of losing it.  This application must be refused.

This plan surely contravenes the Biosphere criteria, a status long fought for to encourage Tourism to our beautiful Island. How can we in all conscience continue to talk about this ‘Garden Isle’ when so much is being concreted over and we are in danger of becoming a suburb of Portsmouth / Southampton.

The Island Plan refers to Eco-Island which although does not exist as a defined project as listed in the plan, it has been superseded by Isle of Wight in 2019 achieving UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Status and IWC declaring a Climate Emergency with resulting Climate Emergency Strategy. This application clearly is not compatible with new thinking in regard the Biosphere and Climate Change and Emergency and contravenes the National Policy Framework sections 12-15.

If developments on this scale and involving valuable greenfield sites are to be encouraged, then ultimately the island’s UNESCO Biosphere status must surely be in jeopardy.

One of the main news articles in ‘Island Visitor’ is that the Island is now a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve – we are recognised as offering one of the best areas in the world for managed landscapes, where human impact doesn’t detract from the landscape and wildlife, greatly enhancing its reputation as a special place to live and visit. Quite how this development fits into this ‘Biosphere’ is unknown but we should be encouraging the farming and wildlife management to continue and not destroy an area of land that will be lost to the island for ever. A further decade of building with the associated noise and pollution must also be factored in.

SPA – THE SITE IS WITHIN THE SOLENT SPA BUFFER ZONE

1.5 Evidence, as referred to in this document, shows that recreational disturbance associated with an increase in local population from new residential development can reduce the quality of the habitat in the Solent SPAs. As a result, in order to meet the requirements of the Habitats Regulations1 , mitigation measures will need to be provided where necessary from residential development schemes before works can lawfully go ahead. More detail on both the importance of the Solent SPAs and the council’s legal obligations are given below.

1.11 The Directives have been transposed into UK law through the Habitats Regulations. Under these regulations, the Isle of Wight Council must assess whether or not a proposed development is likely to have a significant effect on an SPA. This assessment is called a Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA). It involves an initial ‘screening stage’ to determine whether the proposal is likely to have a significant effect on a European site. This assessment needs to identify the interest features of the European sites and whether the plan or project would cause harm to them.

1.12 If necessary, avoidance and/or mitigation measures could be included to remove the harm which otherwise would have occurred. It is also necessary to look at the proposal in combination with other developments in the local area. A second stage, called the Appropriate Assessment (AA), comprises a detailed assessment to determine whether

there will be an adverse effect on the site. Only once the HRA has determined that there will not be an adverse effect can the proposal be authorised.

1.13 Due to the precautionary approach4 in the regulations, it is necessary to demonstrate, with a reasonable degree of certainty, that the project will not be likely to have an effect on the SPA before it can lawfully be authorised.

Source: https://www.iow.gov.uk/azservices/documents/2779-SSPA-SPD.pdf

NATIONAL PLANNING POLICY FRAMEWORK

The National Policy Framework Section 15 (170) outlines the importance of conserving and enhancing the natural environment. I argue that the West Acre by building 475 houses on historic countryside is altering the whole landscape (a rolling valley) that it in facts does not conserve and enhance the natural environment but in fact destroys this environment.

Westridge Farm has been farmed for hundreds of years and its strong fertility provides rich pasture and grazing land. It has woodlands and hedges that have been in place for 100s of years. This provides a natural habitat for 1000s of species of insects, 25 species of bat, the endangered species of Hazel Dormouse, Red Squirrels, birds, migrating birds, rabbits, hares, foxes amongst many others. Urbanisation and disturbance on the 1000s years eco-system will have damaging affect and is in contravention of the National Policy Framework.

CURRENT ISLAND CORE STRATEGY

This is a proposed development in an area that is protected by the definitions of the lsland core plan strategy and the national development plan

Providing housing that do not meet the need of the community, will severely stress the already insufficient public health and education services

The Island needs “Protection & Responsible Development”. True – so leave the area as it is now.

In all, this is a proposed development in an area that is protected by the definitions of the Island Plan Core Strategy and the National Development Plan, provides housing that does not meet the needs of the community, will severely stress the already insufficient public health and education services, is reliant upon private vehicles and does not take into account the restricted capacity of the surrounding minor roads, leading inevitably to increased road traffic incidents and pedestrian casualties.

 

This application is not within the Settlement Border as outlined in the 2012 Island Plan Core Strategy and in fact the farm is a clear distance from the Settlement Border. In relation to Ryde and 2012 Core Strategy, the settlement boundary is clearly defined in the Island Plan Core Strategy 2012 as indicated by a red line in the Map on page 122. There has been no change to the settlement boundary since the adoption of the Core Strategy. It is clearly in contravention of SP1 as the land identified is not on land within or immediately adjacent the defined Ryde settlement boundary.

SP1 clearly states “unless a specific local need is identified, a development proposal outside of, or not on immediately adjacent to the defined Ryde settlement boundary will not be supported”.

The Ryde Position Statement (2018/19) produced by Ryde Town Council clearly states that housing provided by approved planning applications and outline planning permissions has provided or will provide sufficient housing need in Ryde and the only outstanding need was for one and two bedroomed units for rent and this is not provided by the West Acre Park application.

 

It is contrary to SP5, SP4, DM13 and DM7 of the Island Core Strategy 2012 and contrary to sections 12-15 of the National Policy Framework. The application does not prove housing need for Ryde and as there is existing land in the immediate Ryde East and South Area for housing with full and outline planning permission there is clearly an argument of overdevelopment. It creates clearly coalescence with Nettlestone and Seaview as the application erodes the historic and natural environment and countryside between the parishes of Ryde Town and Nettlestone and Seaview.

 

The Island Plan’s DM7 states “The Council will support development proposals that improve cultural, educational, leisure and community facilities”.

This West Acre Park application is contrary to DM7:

  1. Consider the needs and requirements of all people in the community (both immediate and wider) it will serve. This application makes no consideration of integration and cohesion with the existing well-established Elmfield village/settlement although the development is within this development. It is in fact “sold” as a village in its own right and not part of Elmfield.
  2. Create opportunities to provide multi-use facilities for greater community benefit. The West Acre Park proposal includes the provision of a GP surgery which is misleading as it indicates that there have been discussions with the IW Clinical Commissioning Group (who commission GP surgeries). A GP surgery is also mentioned in the Pennyfeather development which already has outline planning permission and the IW Council’s current Nicolson Road Community Hub application. The latter GP proposal is the only one the IW CCG has discussed and this involves the proposal of an existing GP Surgery, Esplanade Surgery, moving to Nicolson Road. The inclusion of a GP surgery is wild speculation on the developer’s part and the developer provides no substantive evidence how this fits within the current IW CCG policy. The Elmfield area is part of the St. John’s Church parish area and this traditional community hub with the church hall acting as the main community hall for the area has not been involved in any discussions with the developer.
  3. Encourage appropriate intensification of existing facilities. This application and the 2000 plus extra residents it will create will not only intensify existing facilities but will overwhelm them. The local primary schools have no capacity to take extra children and the nearest two primary schools to the site (Oakfield and St. Mary’s Primary School) would be accessed by Appley Lane from West Acre Road which is known does not provide and will not provide safe access for children from the proposed site due the impossibility of building footpaths on Appley Road. The main secondary school is Ryde Academy which is on the West of Ryde is at full capacity with Ryde children having to travel on bus to Sandown or Newport.
  4. Ensure that any provision of social and community infrastructure is accessible by cycling and walking and, wherever possible, public transport. In section 7, I outline in detail the problem with the connecting road infrastructure to this development. Although, there are two bus routes with one on Appley Road and the other on Marlborough Road, residents on the new estate would have a substantial walk to them and access points onto Appley and Bullen Roads would be dangerous and do not provide and could not provide suitable cycling lanes or footpaths.
  5. Be located within defined settlement boundaries, unless it can be demonstrated that an alternative location would be more suitable to fulfil a local need. As described in the summary above and Section 1, this site is outside the defined settlement boundary.
  6. Support the provision of sufficient and sustainable education facilities to meet the level of need outlined by the Council’s Schools Reorganisation Project. This proposed development as stated above in (3) does not in any way go towards providing a solution to the lack of school infrastructure need in the area and in fact cause pressure on over capacity current provision.

 

Island Plan Core Strategy 2012, Section 2.33 (Page 11) states

There is a very strong local identity and associated community feeling which can be seen through the work undertaken on Parish and Town Plans and Village Design Statements. Communities have previously been concerned that some development in the past has been poorly designed and has failed to contribute positively to the quality of the built environment on the Island. This has had a negative impact and design has too often failed to reflect local distinctiveness”.

The West Acre Park development application completely fails address or recognise and acknowledge the Historic Settlement of Elmfield and failed to recognise or reflect the distinctive local identity of this defined village identity and community. It is fact a development that is creating a new community with its own identity West Acre Park with its own community facilities and shop and has no defined plan to integrate with Elmfield. This alone threatens community cohesion and will have a strong negative impact. Westridge Farm and the farming family are an integral component of the Elmfield community. This relation between local farm and village goes back 100s of years and the loss of the farm will be detrimental to the community identity.

 

SP5 Environment – Carbon Emission Increase and Over Reliance of Cars:

The Island Plan 2012 states

To manage the distribution of development in the most sustainable locations, bearing in mind the highly valued natural and historic environment”.

The West Acre application location is not a suitable location as it destroys natural and historic countryside and pasture that through free dairy (grass fed cows for a minimum of 6 months a year but on the Isle of Wight can be nearly 12 months) and environmental husbandry farming by the existing farming family since 1966 and over 100 years previously.

The development is contrary to SP5 sections 5.184 and 5185. The fields, hedges, stream, and trees provide a natural habitat for a variety of wildlife including migrating birds (the cows excrement provide a natural rich manure which provides food for bugs/insects that provides food for birds and the natural cycle of life). The decades of this natural and environment husbandry approach to farming has created a rich eco-system. The proposed site is a natural valley of rolling natural countryside and literally slopes down a natural stream which is the parish boundary. Building housing on this site will literally destroy the 100s of years of established eco-system and will replace natural countryside and farmland with a newly created managed environment. This will increase carbon emissions hundredfold as you have to way up the near zero level of carbon emissions of 80 cows to the carbon emissions of 475 houses, the IW car ownership average of two cars per household units and the commercial and visitor traffic per household, at least a minimum of 1000 vehicles using the site per day.

The site positioning outside the settlement boundary and positioning on the Parish boundary means the site is a substantive distance from Ryde and facilities such as schools, shops and health agencies. This creates a near total Reliance of the Car. The majority of residents especially those proposed residents living near the Parish boundary will have a considerable up-hill walk to nearest bus-stop.

The Plan clearly states that

Development that has a demonstrable adverse impact on the Island’s natural, historic and built environments should be avoided”.

Westridge Farm has be naturally farmed since 1966. The farm takes responsible farming seriously by maintaining the environment, the welfare of animals and the appearance of the countryside. it is important to remember that dairy is a really nutritious and affordable food. Dairy production is not as harmful to the environment as compared with meat production, and attempts to farm dairy more sustainably have been quite successful in the UK.

The farm is position in a direct valley corridor that is close to the five 5 levels of ecological protection in operation across the parish of Ryde. Four are essentially coterminous and cover the whole of the town’s seafront and Ryde Sands (Ramsar – an international wetland designation, Special Protection Area – a Natura2000 European designation, Potential Special Protection Area (a second layer of provisional designation, treated as if fully protected in policy and law), Site of Special Scientific Interest (a UK habitat and species protection in law). The fifth ecological protection is Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC), designated by the Isle of Wight Council. A quarter of the Parish of Ryde is recognized, the majority at international level, for its ecological importance. The whole of Ryde is of course incorporated in the new IW Biosphere reserve designation. The themes of biological and cultural diversity at the core of Biosphere’s purpose, are particularly concentrated, and potentially exemplified, in built and natural environments of the town and its parish. I argue that the natural and untouched countryside of West Acre Farm does not provide in regard the protection of the environment any sustainable development land. The only land farmland that could be argued for sustainable development has already gained planning permission which was the 80(now 86) houses off Hope Road.

The Biosphere designation awarded to the Island on June 19th 2019, actively supports this strategy for sustainable development. Ryde has the potential to be exemplary in its positive and active engagement with the 3 principles of Biosphere. 1. Conserving and enhancing its biological and cultural diversity. 2. Putting its stock of natural and cultural capital to work for the livelihoods and wellbeing of the people who live and work within its bounds. 3. Sharing information freely between its partners, stakeholders and communities, building the strongest constituency it can for a sustainable future.

I argue that the problem with the West Acre Park attempting to incorporate the values and principles of the Biosphere and work within the specific environmental protections, is that it cuts up and existing natural environment to recreate it around housing. It does not naturally evolve over decades but interferes with the landscape and natural environmental balances. The whole beauty of a place is that it is surrounded by a natural belt of green fields and countryside. The concept of urban areas naturally intertwine with the countryside so the population has a balance of moving visually and physically between the two is lost if urbanisation encroaches through expansion into the countryside surrounding it.

 

SP3 Economy and SP4 Tourism (particularly – 5.158,5.159, and 5.171)
The Island Plan states

To reflect the special tourism offer of the Isle of Wight, proposals for tourism related development should utilise the unique characteristics of the historic and natural environments, without compromising their integrity. The Council also wishes to see the Island become an all year round tourism destination, which develops green and new niche tourism products, and development proposals should reflect this”.

Sustainable and Environmental (Green) Tourism is on the increase on the Island and part of its unique selling point. The West and Central Isle of Wight have important farming based tourism that interlinks with local food production such as Briddlesford Farm. The Westridge Farm farmers wish to develop their farm.
https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/travel/sustainable-travel

 

This development directly goes against the IW Councils promises to the island’s residents following consulting them for their views on housing strategy.

“Increasing housing choice is essential for us all to achieve maximum independence and to have better life chances.  (IOW Council 2020)  There is limited choice for most residents.

“It will also keep young people from needing to leave the Island to gain affordable housing.” (IW Council 2020)  This proposed housing is not affordable to local young people.

“We will deliver a sustainable and ambitious housing strategy that reflects our Island status and the needs of local people and businesses, and allows our unique local heritage of landscapes and communities to thrive.”(IOW Council 2020)   This development is not allowing a working farm to thrive. The unique landscape will be destroyed. Our ‘unique local heritage’ will be ruined for future generations. It is not reflecting the needs of local people, who do not want it, the countless objections are evidence of this.

 

It is within the Ryde Area Action Plan Border. The AAP is not for housing but in fact economic development and it can be and I will argue that a sustainable and working farm is an essential contributor to the economic sustainability of Ryde and Isle of Wight. The three AAP (Ryde being one) within the Island Plan Core Strategy 2012 are policies that were ‘framing’ policies, intended to frame the content of the subsequent area action plans (AAPs) that were envisaged. Whilst the AAP policies may identify issues relevant to that area that the Council wanted to explore and evidence further, as framing policies there are not in the Core Strategy to have applications assessed against them. For the purpose of this objection, the focus is on the fact this application is well outside the Settlement Boundary.  The proposed land in this application in facts borders on the Parish line (border with Nettlestone and Seaview Parish Council and Ryde Town Council and raises the issue that if houses are built on this land there will be coalescence between the two communities of Ryde and Nettlestone and Seaview. It will create a precedent of creeping urbanisation and destruction of the countryside and greenfield between the two communities.

All planning applications will need to be determined against the development plan. In this instance the development plan consists of the National Planning Policy Framework and the Island Plan Core Strategy. Although there is no policy in the Island Plan Core Strategy to prevent the loss of agricultural land for residential development, I do wish to argue the importance of this land being a sustainable farm in the context of the Social and Community Dimension and Character of Area, Habitat, Environment, Green Infrastructure, the Economy and Tourism as outlined in the Core Strategy. A working and sustainable farm that cares and protects the countryside is important to the whole uniqueness of the Isle of Wight and cannot be separated from its core economic driver Tourism and now in light of the pandemic Covid19 there is a real need on the Island for local food production.

 

The Island Plan states

Define and ensure that the areas which separate Ryde and the surrounding settlements are appropriately protected to prevent settlement coalescence”.

The targeted land is on/close to the parish border between Ryde and Nettlestone & Seaview. The application is clearly building on the Parish Border and reduces the countryside between the communities of Ryde and Nettlestone and Seaview. Granting planning permission would be totally contrary to preventing coalescence and erode the uniqueness of Island historic settlements surrounded by natural untouched historic countryside and farmland.

NOT WITHIN THE SETTLEMENT BOUNDARY

This application is not within the settlement border as outlined in the 2012 Island Plan Core Strategy. The Westridge Farm land proposed within this development is in fact a clear displace from the settlement border. In relation to Ryde and the 2012 Core Strategy, the settlement boundary is clearly defined in the Island Plan Core Strategy 2012 as indicated by a red line in the Map on page 122.

https://www.iow.gov.uk/azservices/documents/2776-Core-Strategy-Adopted-March-2012- updated-web-links-May-2013-with-cover.pdf

Although the development is within the Ryde AAP border, the land within this is not within the settlement boundary and the AAP is specially defined for economic development. Westridge Farm is already an essential contributor to the economic sustainability of Ryde and the Isle of Wight.

 

This application is not within the Settlement Border as outlined in the 2012 Island Plan Core Strategy and in fact the farm is a clear distance from the Settlement Border. In relation to Ryde and 2012 Core Strategy, the settlement boundary is clearly defined in the Island Plan Core Strategy 2012 as indicated by a red line in the Map on page 122. There has been no change to the settlement boundary since the adoption of the Core Strategy. It is clearly in contravention of SP1 as the land identified is not on land within or immediately adjacent the defined Ryde settlement boundary.

SP1 clearly states “unless a specific local need is identified, a development proposal outside of, or not on immediately adjacent to the defined Ryde settlement boundary will not be supported”.

The Ryde Position Statement (2018/19) produced by Ryde Town Council clearly states that housing provided by approved planning applications and outline planning permissions has provided or will provide sufficient housing need in Ryde and the only outstanding need was for one and two bedroomed units for rent and this is not provided by the West Acre Park application.

2012 ISLAND CORE PLAN STILL UNDER REVIEW

This plan has been submitted at a time when the Isle of Wight Council is still reviewing its Island Plan Core Strategy which I trust will view the Island as a whole and not in distinct Town boundaries.

This application is presented at a time when IW Council is at a turning point of reviewing the 2012 Island Plan Core Strategy after 8 years and replacing it with a new up to date Isle of Wight Planning Strategy.

 

This development directly goes against the IW Councils promises to the island’s residents following consulting them for their views on housing strategy.

“Increasing housing choice is essential for us all to achieve maximum independence and to have better life chances.  (IOW Council 2020)  There is limited choice for most residents.

“It will also keep young people from needing to leave the Island to gain affordable housing.” (IW Council 2020)  This proposed housing is not affordable to local young people.

“We will deliver a sustainable and ambitious housing strategy that reflects our Island status and the needs of local people and businesses, and allows our unique local heritage of landscapes and communities to thrive.”(IOW Council 2020)   This development is not allowing a working farm to thrive. The unique landscape will be destroyed. Our ‘unique local heritage’ will be ruined for future generations. It is not reflecting the needs of local people, who do not want it, the countless objections are evidence of this.

The Island’s unique beauty is in it’s natural landscape. Mass produced, housing developments of this scale do not meet the needs of local residents- the IOW council planning department’s priority should be meeting the needs of local residents, not developers who are meeting their own financial needs first and foremost. The IW Council needs to ensure our voices are not just listened to in a tokenistic tick box exercise, they need to respond proactively, directly challenging central government if necessary. The Island cannot sustain such large scale development and the residents will suffer as a consequence. This mindless building of houses without any thought of wider issues such as impact on local public service provision, infrastructure, lack of employment, rising elderly population, ruination of the natural landscape, has got to stop. This is community disempowerment, certainly not democracy. The people at the bottom, in the community, have a right to determine what happens to their own living environment. This power should not be the sole claim to those in local and national government, always favouring the wealthy developers.

It would seem this new housing estate proposal which, being outside the agreed development “envelope” – appears not to ever have been identified as “needed” by the IOW Council in any further planning strategy publicised since 2012.

FLAWED AND INFLATED HOUSING TARGET

Campaign for the Protection of Rural England commissioned an independent demographer to review the draft Island Plan. The conclusion was that housing targets have been set too high and are based on flawed statistics and methodology. Specific criticisms included outdated population forecasts; failure to address the needs of islanders and the fact that population increase forecasts were based entirely on net migration from the mainland.

With a new draft island plan in process and housing targets in need of review, would this not be the worst possible time to make a binding decision on the future of this sensitive site?

There has been little transparency as to why the Council might favour large green site developments to satisfy external demand over the interests and needs of local residents.

The Council is caretaker to our island and accountable to the residents it serves. Residents deserve an explanation

The proposers argue that the Island Plan is out of date, yet they use Housing Need figures derived from the Plan to justify their proposal. The Housing Needs figures are indeed clearly out of date and require downward revision. As our MP Bob Seely has pointed out, the methodology used for deriving the Housing Needs figures is flawed and entirely unsuited to the Island. In this respect, the Island needs a housing policy based on local need as opposed to migration from the mainland.

The developers’ “numbers” seem to far exceed supposed housing needs for local “requirements”, especially as the Island’s population has been noted as mathematically reducing as a whole.

If this proposed housing estate is needed for “Island residents”, why then, is it being advertised on the World-wide Web and the Mainland?

 

The development does not meet the needs of the island’s population:

 -The population is projected to increase in the 64-85 age group – who will require more supported housing and care homes, not family sized homes- the development plans to build ‘195 3 bedroom units, 43 4 bedroom units’, these do not match the needs of the IOW council’s projections for the population age range.

– The IOW council’s projected figures for housing numbers required were miscalculated, therefore developments of this size are not required and need to be adjusted accordingly

UNSOLD HOUSES ELSEWHERE ON THE ISLAND

There are still empty new builds across the island unpurchased. The social housing issue requires affordable long-term rentable housing stock, not short-termist policies allowing development companies to profiteer at the expense of ruining our green space.

Looking t the houses already built and on the market at West Acre Park, the cheapest (Most affordable?) is £247,000. Today there are 560 properties listed for sale across the Isle of Wight for £250,000 or less on Rightmove (Not including Park Homes or retirement homes). 373 with a maximum of 2 bedrooms. So I do not understand how this helps meet the needs of either Ryde or the wider Island.

RYDE INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN IGNORED SINCE DECEMBER 2019

Ryde Town Council has been calling upon the Isle of Wight Council since December 2019 to draw up and adopt a Ryde Infrastructure Plan but, to date, to no avail.

The Ryde Position Statement (2018/19) produced by Ryde Town Council clearly states that housing provided by approved planning applications and outline planning permissions has provided or will provide sufficient housing need in Ryde and the only outstanding need was for one and two bedroomed units this is not provided by the West Acre Park application. It is also contrary to SP5, SP4, DM13 and DM7 of the Island Core Strategy 2012 and contrary to sections 12-15 of the National Policy Framework. The application does not prove housing need for Ryde and as there is existing land in the immediate Ryde East and South Area for housing with full and outline planning permission there is clearly an argument of overdevelopment. It creates clearly coalescence with Nettlestone and Seaview as the application erodes the historic and natural environment and countryside between the parishes of Ryde Town and Nettlestone and Seaview.

SP1 clearly states:

“unless a specific local need is identified, a development proposal outside of, or not on immediately adjacent to the defined Ryde settlement boundary will not be supported”.

The Ryde Position Statement (2018/19) produced by Ryde Town Council clearly states that housing provided by approved planning applications and outline planning permissions has provided or will provide sufficient housing need in Ryde and the only outstanding need was for one and two bedroomed units for rent and this is not provided by the West Acre Park application.

RYDE HOUSING QUOTA ALREADY FILLED

There are already a number of other sites within the Ryde East and South Area with full and outline planning permission and this application amounts to overdevelopment and in excess of the 2100 properties identified within the Island Plan Core Strategy.

 

Why does the council approve so many housing developments in and around Ryde even on greenfield sites that are NOT supposed to be used for housing? even citing that the council can’t afford to go through an appeal so they grant permission. Literally thousands of houses are being proposed, turning our town into an urban sprawl and yet other areas on the island have minimal housing developments built to make up our island government quota. It seems like Ryde is taking more than its fair share and this council will be incompetent if after allowing Penny feathers, Rosemary vineyard and all the others it lets this desecration of greenfields happen to give the go ahead to this development.

Considering the impending developments of other green field sites in Ryde, which have been strongly opposed, under no circumstances should a farming family loose their business, and a way of life, for yet another development nobody welcomes.

The public green space the developers wish to include, will become nothing more than a meeting place for the local feral teenagers to carry out their anti social behaviour, as is the case on other green spaces, with absolutely no means of policing such.

There is already outline approval for more than 1200 dwellings in this small area of Ryde. This, along with others in the planning system will increase that figure by more than another 500!

 

It is within the Ryde Area Action Plan Border. The AAP is not for housing but in fact economic development and it can be and I will argue that a sustainable and working farm is an essential contributor to the economic sustainability of Ryde and Isle of Wight. The three AAP (Ryde being one) within the Island Plan Core Strategy 2012 are policies that were ‘framing’ policies, intended to frame the content of the subsequent area action plans (AAPs) that were envisaged. Whilst the AAP policies may identify issues relevant to that area that the Council wanted to explore and evidence further, as framing policies there are not in the Core Strategy to have applications assessed against them. For the purpose of this objection, the focus is on the fact this application is well outside the Settlement Boundary.  The proposed land in this application in facts borders on the Parish line (border with Nettlestone and Seaview Parish Council and Ryde Town Council and raises the issue that if houses are built on this land there will be coalescence between the two communities of Ryde and Nettlestone and Seaview. It will create a precedent of creeping urbanisation and destruction of the countryside and greenfield between the two communities.

OVER-DEVELOPMENT

The Ryde Town Council Position Statement clearly states that the current bank of planning permissions and houses that have built since 2012, that Ryde has met it allocation and no other housing development is needed. This application does not prove housing need for Ryde and as there is existing land in the immediate Ryde East and South Area for housing with full and outline planning permission there is clear overdevelopment as there is already 1300 dwellings within the current Ryde East and Ryde South Wards with outline planning permission and another 600 that have either had planning permission (full of outline) or been built since 2012. The figure stated in the Island Core Strategy 2012 on page 35 is 2100 therefore this development of 475 dwellings pushes well in excess of this figure.

It has to be noted that within the application there are four specific areas of land and there is a need to understand these as follows:

Westridge Farm – This includes all land East of the existing area named 1st phase of West Acre Park with 86 houses (11 acres) with approved planning permission. It therefore, can be clearly identified the farm in itself is not within or adjacent to the Settlement Border. Giving planning permission as applied for in the total scheme will remove this historic farm for ever. The actual boundary of the farm since the approval of planning permission of the 80 (now 86 houses) is now beyond this approved housing development. A settlement boundary is still clearly the gardens of the houses on Circular Road and Hope Road. Therefore, what constitutes Westridge Farm is not within or adjacent the Settlement Border. This development specifically terminates an existing sustainable farming business which will simply be taking away the livelihood of a family and make the adults within that family (who have been working the farm since 1966) unemployed. This contravenes Article 23.1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Right 1948 which states Article 23 “Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment”.  The Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 formed the basis of the European Convention on Human Rights, which in turn was incorporated in UK law by the Human Rights Act 1998. The specific Articles of the ECHR relevant to planning include Article 6 (Right to a fair and public trial within a reasonable time), Article 8 (Right to respect for private and family life, home and correspondence), Article 14 (Prohibition of discrimination) and Article 1 of Protocol 1 (Right to peaceful enjoyment of possessions and protection of property). I argue that granting planning permission on land that provides a home and livelihood and employment for a family knowingly denying said employment, home and income is in breach of their human rights as protected in the Human Rights Act 1998. 

Appley Field – Behind Trucast Factory Trucast Ltd, located in Ryde, Isle of Wight, is part of the Doncasters Turbocharger Components Division and a leading international manufacturer of hot-end turbocharger wheels for the automotive and power generation industries. This field is technically on settlement boundary border and does raise issues on the suitability of housing next to this industrial complex. Building houses at the back of this industrial complex raises health and safety and environmental/public health issues. This field is/was owned by Abbeyfields and originally planned for a residential home. It is not part of Westridge Farm.

Fields off Bullen Road and separated by a wooded area to Westridge FarmThese are used as extra grazing fields by Westridge Farm. This ancient woodland and Parkland is seen as having archaeological importance as confirmed by Defra. This was highlighted by the Archaeological Officer in his/her original report in 2017 in regard the 80 houses application although not highlighted by the Planning Officer at the time.

125, Marlborough Road – This is a residential private house that has been bought for to be used as access to West Acre Park. This is the only part of the scheme within the Settlement Border. Marlborough Road has a defined layout and design and having an access route to West Acre Park at this point put increased pressure on narrow pavements and existing residents.

In considering the application officers and planning committee members need to not just look at the whole development but in the context of these four components and that each land component has unique issues that cannot be marginalised or dismissed. The principle land is outside the settlement border and is an attempt to create a new “village” styled development which not only loses a working and sustainable farm but changes the character of the historic Ryde settlement of Elmfield Village which was built around Westridge and Appley Farms.  It has to be strongly emphasised that in considering this application of a jigsaw and complex mix of land, there is any doubt one piece or pieces of the jigsaw do not fit then the whole application should be refused as it is submitted as a whole.

I would describe this application as a bridge (development) to far for the Ward of Ryde East (from 2021 – Ryde Appley and Elmfield) and Ryde as a whole. There is an over-concentration of housing development in the East/South of Ryde that has already changing the character of the area but pushing totally to breaking point the fragile community infrastructure. There is already 1300 within the current Ryde East and Ryde South Wards with outline planning permission and another 600 that have either had planning permission (full or outline) or been built since 2012. The figure of 2100 is mentioned in the Island Core Strategy 2012 states allocated to Ryde. The West Acre Park development totally pushes well over this figure. It is also outside the settlement boundary when within the settlement boundary there are plenty of brownfield sites still available and opportunity with new planning regulations shops in Ryde that could be converted into flats. The real need in Ryde is not for three or four bedroomed houses but one or two-bedroomed flats for rent. Purchasing affordable housing at the price already marketed by the developers on the current 86 house site at Westridge Farm, does not in any way meet the need in Ryde which is in fact social housing. The Ryde Town Council Position Statement clearly states that the current bank of planning permissions and houses that have built since 2012, that Ryde has met its allocation and no other housing development such as West Acre Park are needed. This is a clear case of overdevelopment.

 

The West Acre Park development will have a Negative / adverse visual impact on the landscape and the locality of the historic village and settlement of Elmfield Village. The advertising and presentation of West Acre Park is clearly as a new community and village at the detriment of the existing community of Elmfield. It is presented as being a sustainable community removed from Elmfield and Appley and Ryde. It can be described as a proposed remote community that destroys the historic and cohesive community of Elmfield. Elmfield is an historic settlement now suburb of the town of Ryde on the Isle of Wight, in England. It is situated south-east of the town centre on a small hill. St John’s Church is a notable landmark on the north side of Elmfield. Oakfield lies directly to the West, Appley to the North, Seaview and Nettlestone to the East and Westridge to the South.The community is mainly based on the A3055 Marlborough Road, with additional shopping facilities in nearby Somerset Road. Public transport is provided by Southern Vectis buses on route 3. The nearest railway station is Ryde St John’s Road, situated in lower Oakfield.

The whole concept of West Acre Park and the name of the company proposing the application “Westridge Village” is trying to recreate a new village at the detriment of the historic village and community of Elmfield.

FARM NOT IDENTIFIED AS “NEEDED” IN IOW COUNCILS PLANNING STRATEGY

It would seem this new housing estate proposal which, being outside the agreed development “envelope” – appears not to ever have been identified as “needed” by the IOW Council in any further planning strategy publicised since 2012.

EXISTING GRANTED PLANNING PERMISSION AND CHANGES TO IT

Bullen Road is part of the local road network not suited to servicing large volumes of motorised traffic. It is narrow and has no footpaths along most of its length, or street lights. This access was approved in the application below for the sole purpose of servicing the pumping station. It is now proposed to ‘upgrade’ this track to facilitate vehicular movements from an extra 550 dwellings. Appley Road is also unsuited.

The Isle of Wight Council approved a much larger pumping station in 2019 (P/00146/19) despite there already being an approved one within the Westridge Farm development site curtilage (P/00760/16). This delegated powers decision has enabled this application to come forward now.

How long will the developer wait before submitting revised applications to change designs and increase density, using market surveys to support the latter? The now renamed Phase 1 (Westridge Farm development) has already had the designs changed and its density raised from 80 to 86.

COALESCENCE JOINING RYDE, SEAVIEW & NETTLESTONE

The borders between Ryde and Nettlestone/Seaview become yet more blurred, villages lose more of their unique character. The 475 dwellings within this proposed development go right up to the parish line (border with Nettlestone and Seaview Parish Council and Ryde Town Council) and raises the issue that if houses are built on this land there will be coalescence between the two communities of Ryde and Nettlestone/Seaview. It will create a precedent of creeping urbanisation and destruction of the countryside and green belt between the two communities.

ECONOMY & TOURISM

The Island Plan states “To reflect the special tourism offer of the Isle of Wight, proposals for tourism related development should utilise the unique characteristics of the historic and natural environments, without compromising their integrity. The Council also wishes to see the Island become an all year round tourism destination, which develops green and new niche tourism products, and development proposals should reflect this”. Sustainable and Environmental (Green) Tourism is on the increase on the Island and part of its unique selling point. The West and Central Isle of Wight have important farming based tourism that interlinks with local food production such as Briddlesford Farm. The Westridge Farm tenant farmers wish to develop their farm.

https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/travel/sustainable-travel

The Island Plan refers to Eco-Island which although does not exist as a defined project as listed in the plan, it has been superseded by Isle of Wight in 2019 achieving UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Status and IWC declaring a Climate Emergency with resulting Climate Emergency Strategy. This application clearly is not compatible with new thinking in regard the Biosphere and Climate Change and Emergency and contravenes the National Policy Framework sections 12-15.

Such a large scale development will change the rural nature of the island. The beauty of the island is it natural landscapes and lack of over-development. This development would have a detrimental impact on tourism, an important income that many rely on, negatively impacting it’s economy, already suffering due to pandemic.

EMPLOYMENT AND POVERTY

High rates of poverty on IOW – proposed development’s housing would not be affordable by the majority of local residents. 18.6% children live in low income families, well above national average. Deprivation score is above England’s average and 4th worst in South East (PHE 2019). Income deprivation is high (15.5), joint worst in south east, worse than national average (14.7) (Public Health England 2020)., employment deprivation is worst in south east, much worse than national average, reflecting high rates of temporary, seasonal work and unemployment and average wage of only £335 per week is one of the lowest in the whole of the UK (ONS 2015). Based on this evidence, most of the population will not be able to afford even the ‘affordable’ housing proposed by this development. Who are these homes being built for? Do not meet needs of local population. 4 bedroom at Wishing Well close, Pondwell £525,000, nearby to proposed development.

HUMAN RIGHTS

This includes all land East of the existing area named 1stphase of West Acre Park with 86 houses (11 acres) with approved planning permission. It therefore, can be clearly identified the farm in itself is not within or adjacent to the Settlement Border. Giving planning permission as applied for in the total scheme will remove this historic farm for ever. The actual boundary of the farm since the approval of planning permission of the 80 (now 86 houses) is now beyond this approved housing development. A settlement boundary is still clearly the gardens of the houses on Circular Road and Hope Road. Therefore, what constitutes Westridge Farm is not within or adjacent the Settlement Border. This development specifically terminates an existing sustainable farming business which will simply be taking away the livelihood of a family and make the adults within that family (who have been working the farm since 1966) unemployed. This contravenes Article 23.1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Right 1948 which states Article 23 “Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment”. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 formed the basis of the European Convention on Human Rights, which in turn was incorporated in UK law by the Human Rights Act 1998. The specific Articles of the ECHR relevant to planning include Article 6 (Right to a fair and public trial within a reasonable time), Article 8 (Right to respect for private and family life, home and correspondence), Article 14 (Prohibition of discrimination) and Article 1 of Protocol 1 (Right to peaceful enjoyment of possessions and protection of property). I argue that granting planning permission on land that provides a home and livelihood and employment for a family knowingly denying said

Does not a Child, or his Family, have any Human Rights? Especially an indigenous Child and Family. The UN states that a Child, for instance, has the RIGHT to have shelter, the RIGHT to be heard and the RIGHT have their own views taken into account in matters which affect them

If all these applications result in building works commencing within the next couple of years the residents of Elmfield and Appley will be subjected to continual site noise and pollution for up to 20 years, or more. Quality of life will be non-existent for at least 2 decades.

It discriminates against older adults, children, those who do not drive and those with disabilities as it impedes their human rights and independence of not providing accessible public transport in reasonable walking distance on all homes built on the site.

COMMUNITY SAFETY

Threatens community safety. Hampshire constabulary have raised concerns about the development’s inability to protect public safety from crime due to design issues.

ISLAND FOOD PRODUCTION ENCOURAGED (LESS RELIANCE ON MAINLAND)

Core Strategy – Island development policy must be seen “To sustain a rural economy that brings benefit to the whole Island.” [2.30). Granting consent to this application will directly contravene this policy by enforcing closure of the farm.

This choice between housing or a working and sustainable farm has to consider very seriously as the previous Westridge Farm application in 2017 did not destroy the whole farm. It was an application on the settlement border and it had road access. This application takes away forever Westridge Farm and relegates it to the archive. The untouched Isle of Wight unique natural countryside under the tender hands of a generational husbandry styled farmer will be changed forever. A farm that historically interrelated to a defined historic settlement and village, Elmfield will be socially engineered away from this farm/village relationship and rural heritage to one that is only an urban sprawl that has lost its historic character and identity. It will in fact be two opposing communities of Elmfield and West Acre Park (or as the name of the applicant company – Westridge Village).

This will not only affect a long standing island farm which has supplied the island for 50 years and ruin the family lives. It will have a major negative affect on the environment and the islands economical infrastructure. 

We are always being encouraged to “shop locally”. Let’s face it, the Isle of Wight could not even feed itself in a crisis (viz: panic stations when there was a fairly short strike by fuel drivers on the mainland during September 2000, and panic during the early supermarket shortages, and queues following the Covid-19 “lockdown”. Our hard-working Farmers, should be celebrated and protected from outside cold and commercial interests. Just imagine, for example – in the near future – fuel or transport drivers go on strike for a particular reason, while the Island’s only fuel depot at East Cowes has been turned into another housing estate? Won’t we need the land, produce, and skills of our Westridge (and remaining) Farmers, then?

We need to support our British farmers, not taking if away their home and livelihood to build yet more houses here that the IOW can’t cope with.

RURAL AGRICULTURAL AND FOOD PRODUCTION INDUSTRY

Westridge Farm as an important community asset now and in the Future! Westridge Farm is a community asset. Westridge Farm is well placed and easily accessible for the local community of Elmfield which includes 2 schools in walking distance, Oakfield and St Mary’s. The farm already enables youth clubs and schools to access the farm and learn about where food comes from. The approval of this application will mean the loss of the farm and have a detrimental affect on the community.

Westridge Farm is 1 of 10 remaining working Dairy Farms and is an increasingly rare agricultural resource on the Isle of Wight. And in addition, importantly, the farmland has an ancient history that can be traced back to the Doomsday Book.

In the last 25 years the Island has lost over 85% of it’s Dairy Farms

Isle of Wight 2011 census atlas:
IW Dairy Farm numbers 1995 = 68
2000 = 45
2005 = 38
2010 = 19

2020 figure has reduced further and now stands at 10 (poss.9) remaining Dairy Farms on the Isle of Wight. (NFU, 2016)

This development specifically terminates an existing sustainable farming business which will simply be taking away the livelihood of a family and make the adults within that family (who have been working the farm since 1966) unemployed. This contravenes Article 23.1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Right 1948 which states Article 23 “Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment”.

The untouched Isle of Wight unique natural countryside under the tender hands of a generational husbandry styled farmer will be changed forever. A farm that historically interrelated to a defined historic settlement and village, Elmfield will be socially engineered away from this farm/village relationship and rural heritage to one that is only an urban sprawl that has lost its historic character and identity. It will in fact be two opposing communities of Elmfield and West Acre Park (or as the name of the applicant company – Westridge Village).

The West Acre Park development will have a Negative / adverse visual impact on the landscape and the locality of the historic village and settlement of Elmfield Village.

COMMUNITY ASSET

The Farm is a community asset. I provide an example of Fordhall Farm in Shropshire and Ryde benefits from and will in the future of keeping its last remaining farm within its parish boundary. The planning application for housing if permission was given, will lose an important community asset to Ryde and take away from the community to benefit from its development as a farm. See references to Fordhall Farm. The farmer at Westridge Farm has ambitions to increase egg production (already sells eggs to local community) and purchase a pasteuriser to sell milk to the local population of Ryde. The farm is part of the national network of Free Dairy Farmers (https://freerangedairy.org/) who have grass-fed cows producing milk. This sustainable and husbandry way of farming ensures the historic pastures of Westridge Farm benefit the health and well-being of the community. The farm is adjacent within Elmfield to two of the most deprived Ward in Ryde and Isle of Wight and in the top 10% of most deprived wards in England. 50% of local children are on free school meals. Ryde Foodbank is positioned in Grace’s Church on Circular Road and 2 minute walk from the farm. The farm already enables youth clubs and schools to access the farm and learn about where food comes from and the development of a community farm like Fordhall Farm will be of great benefit to the local community. Approval of this application will totally close this opportunity and have a detrimental affect on the community.

https://www.fordhallfarm.com/

https://communitysupportedagriculture.org.uk/

https://plunkett.co.uk/fordhall-farm-shropshire/

https://plunkett.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Community-Farm-Case-Study-Fordhall.pdf

URBANISATION

The proposal is contrary to the SP1 (Spatial Strategy) as it falls outside the Ryde settlement boundary and would create an unacceptable level of urban sprawl between Ryde and Seaview. A parkland zone incorporated into the plans is merely a sweetener and would be a poor substitute for the devastating loss of biodiversity at this site. In the government’s recently unveiled plans to overhaul the planning system the Ministry of Housing stated that valued green spaces and Greenbelt will continue to be protected for future generations.

The expansion of this development continues the urbanisation and environmental destruction of North East Wight. At some point in the future there will not be development boundary separation between Ryde, Nettlestone, Seaview, St Helens, Brading and Bembridge – it will be one mass urban sprawl – but no one on the Council appears to care !

On August 6th the Prime Minister, when speaking of the Governments’ plan to instigate new planning laws pledged the government to build “more homes in the right places.”
That is a very laudable idea but it simply does not fit the planned development of the West Acre site – the planned properties are the wrong type of houses in the wrong place while the size of the development will not only be detrimental to the East Ryde area but also affect Pondwell, Nettlestone and Seaview.

There are already a number of other sites within the Ryde East and South Area with full and outline planning permission and this application amounts to over development and in excess of the 2100 properties identified within the Island Plan Core Strategy. The application sverarely diminishes the boundaries between the parishes of Ryde Town, Seaview and Nettlestone, clearly in contravention of the Island Plan which aims to prevent coalescence. Westridge Farm is an important community and island resource, one of 10 remaining dairy farms on the Isle of Wight, provides a community service and is a net contributor to environmental health.

This development would just add to the”urban sprawl” that is threatening to turn, Ryde, Nettlestone and Seaview into one town.  Developers will not be happy until all of our Island is covered with concrete and bricks.

This choice between housing or a working and sustainable farm has to consider very seriously as the previous Westridge Farm application in 2017 did not destroy the whole farm. It was an application on the settlement border and it had road access. This application takes away forever Westridge Farm and relegates it to the archive. The untouched Isle of Wight unique natural countryside under the tender hands of a generational husbandry styled farmer will be changed forever. A farm that historically interrelated to a defined historic settlement and village, Elmfield will be socially engineered away from this farm/village relationship and rural heritage to one that is only an urban sprawl that has lost its historic character and identity. It will in fact be two opposing communities of Elmfield and West Acre Park (or as the name of the applicant company – Westridge Village).

BROWNFIELD SITES INCLUDING HARCOURT SANDS, EMPTY SHOPS, OFFICES, HOUSES

Within Ryde there is an abundance of brownfield sites that could be developed before we even consider building of the small amount of green land we have left!

As a lifelong resident of the town I’ve seen plenty of properties especially in the town that could be refurbished for first time buyers and starter homes which are probably in short supply before we encourage a mass influx of new residents to our once beautiful environment. The town appears very run down and could benefit from development within rather than spoiling green fields!

In 2013 the number of empty houses on the Isle of Wight equalled 3.83%, exceeding the governments Sustainable Communities Strategy target of 3.7%. The Isle of Wight Council has managed to reduce the total to 485 as at May 2020. Consider that if those dwellings were filled there would be no need for a greenfield development of 475 houses extending Ryde into open countryside.

It would also be perverse to grant planning for this greenfield site when there are nearby brown-field sites, such as Harcourt Sands holiday park that currently lay undeveloped.

SECOND HOMES

“35% Affordable” – to whose benefit? The Island Planning Strategy stipulated aim is for a “truly affordable housing policy” on the Island. That leaves approximately 315 houses for general sale, which in turn will increase the proportion of second homes on the Island (already approximately 16% of the housing total) for no identifiable benefit.

Time and time again I hear that what is required are one and two bedroom ‘affordable’ starter properties for Island people. What this development will deliver is the usual insufficient number of ‘affordable’ housing and many more properties which will attract second home owners and speculators who might buy to let, with rents set beyond the means of younger couples or Island residents.

HIGHWAY SAFETY & TRAFFIC

The development is highly geared to the car owner and does not have easy access for those with disabilities, those on foot and cyclists. I will specifically address the highway safety and traffic generation by pinpointing were the issues are and what are the issues. West Acre Park traffic will access the main area roads by Appley Road and Bullen Road. There is road access to Marlborough Road proposed through demolition of 125, Marlborough Road and Hope Road which is currently access to the 86 houses being built at the end of Hope Road.

Appley Road Access Point and Appley Road/Marlborough Road (Oakfield) Roundabout – West Acre Park will access Appley Road opposite Appley Manor. Appley Road is the principal connection between Ryde and Nettlestone/Seaview. It is currently a busy road with speeding problems and issues. It is not possible to build a left turning pathway/footpath from the proposed West Acre site to connect to pathway/footpath to Marlborough Road as there is a historic brick wall after Grasmere and Derwent Road. Existing residents/pedestrians who live in Grasmere Road/Derwent Road have to cross the road to Seldon Avenue where the footpath has been invaded by the roots of trees and totally unfriendly to those with disabilities. This crossing is dangerous as cars come up the hill from the Wishing-Well pub at speed and vehicles coming from Ryde and the Marlborough/Appley Road roundabout speed up going to Seaview. Existing traffic from Marina Avenue comes out blindly at where the No8 bus-stop is position opposite Grasmere Avenue. This is a dangerous hotspot. West Acre Park traffic ( all vehicles wishing to access Ryde will take this route as it avoids Westridge Junction) accessing Appley Road opposite Appley Manor is going to have major difficulty turning left and right. The increase of traffic of an estimated 2000 vehicles onto the minor road with existing problems will increase highway safety problems. All traffic going to Ryde will come to the Appley/Marlborough Road roundabout that is scored by Highways and Island Road as a major Highway safety hotspot. This roundabout is next to and is an access point to Oakfield School and at school times has real traffic and safety issues. The crossing point at this roundabout on the Marina Avenue side is a crossing to Appley Lane which is the main route to all residents living on the left side of Marlborough Road to the school and Appley Park and Beach. The increased traffic from West Acre Park will increase the danger to pedestrians. The Roundabout is part of the main through traffic route that connects Ryde Town via East Hill to the Bay area and Tescos (the largest supermarket in Ryde). It is also the directed through traffic from Fishbourne (Ferry) and Newport to Bay area. All articulated lorries and heavy goods vehicles come through Ryde via St. John’s Hill and are directed through this route although some go increasingly down St. John’s Hill. Ryde Town Council within its Position Statement has highlight that Ryde East and Ryde as a whole does not have the Road infrastructure to cope with the estimated increased traffic caused by the over concentration of housing development proposals in the Wards of Ryde East and Ryde South. There is currently no road infrastructure plan to manage the increase in housing in the area. It has to be noted Appley Road will already have to cope with new traffic created from Harcourt Sands that has planning permission for 140 houses and a hotel (estimated 1000 vehicle increase per day). It has to be concluded that Appley Road is over capacity at present and cannot sustain any more traffic and that the existing highway safety issues will be increased. The current limitations of design of the road (such as the historic brick wall and access to Grasmere Avenue, Marina Avenue, Appley Manor Hotel, and Appley Lane/Oakfield Road -for pedestrians, those with disabilities etc) make it impossible to make alterations to improve road safety that would be needed for the new residents of West Acre Park. The Planning Application has to be refused on this issue alone in regard access to Appley Road.

Bullen Road Access Point – The proposed access point will principally turn right to Westridge Junction and Ryde/Newport/Bay Area/Tescos and left to Seaview. This is more a minor road than Appley Road and again is totally unsuitable for any increased traffic. There is literally no footpaths or pedestrian ways. The drainage is poor on Bullen Road and frequently this road has flooding issues and becomes dangerous.

125, Marlbough Road – Marlborough Road is a major route for Ryde to Bay area and any access point at this point will be dangerous and simply should be removed from the scheme.

Hope Road – The Island Roads report for the 80 houses with approval off Hope Road clearly stated that the traffic created by these new houses meant that traffic accessing Marlborough Road from Hope Road was over capacity although within the % of flexibility. This means that Hope Road will not be able to have any further traffic than at present. This means that Appley and Bullen Roads have to be seen as the access points to the new proposed housing estate.

Issues for Cyclists, Pedestrians and those with disabilities – The remoteness of the proposed housing estate (West Acre Park) means that those on foot, disability vehicles/wheelchairs, and cyclists will have a substantial distance to go to access the main roads such as Marlborough, Brading, Great Preston, Appley, Bullen, and East Hill to access Ryde Town; when the access these roads where bus stops are they will have to cross busy roads. Again there is currently not safe pedestrian and cycle routes into Ryde. This is contrary to the Island Plan 2012 as it is explicit that new housing developments need to be encouraging non vehicle travel. The positioning of the estate outside the Settlement Boundary and on the border of the Seaview/Ryde Parish line is not conducive with current local and national policies regarding Cyclists and Pedestrianisation. This is also not in line with IWC Public Health policy in regard to planning where communities and new developments are meant to enhance healthier lifestyles. The provision of a footpath and cycle way at 125, Marlborough Road is inadequate and crossing Marlborough Road at this point without a designated crossing is dangerous. It also does not substitute the need for a proper pedestrian route on Bullen Road which due to this being a minor country road is impossible.

Discriminates against Older Adults and Those with Disabilities and Those who do not Drive, and Children – The location of West Acre Park will not have access directly to bus routes and residents will have a substantive walk to the No3 or 8 routes and access to main artery routes by foot. The site is within a natural valley and about 60% of residents will live on a slope and again at a distance of access to routes into Ryde. They would be very reliant on private car access. Older adults, those with disabilities and children would be reliant on either having access to a car and therefore totally dependent on a carer. This totally goes against equality rights and independent living.

 

The existing road networks in the area are hard pressed to capacity with the current levels of traffic. This development would push the problem even further with approximately 1000 additional cars on the road, based on approximately 2 cars per household.

Appley Road: Opposite Appley Manor, this is an extremely busy road with Appley/Marlborough Road roundabout that is scored by Highways and Island Roads as a major Highways safety hotspot. This roundabout is an access point for Oakhill Primary School as well as the road crossing to access Appley Lane which is the main route for pedestrians walking to St Marys Primary School as well as Appley Park and the beach. The increase of traffic is a big safety concern for pedestrians as well as motorist.

Bullen Road: This road is totally unsuitable for increased traffic as well as increase in pedestrians as there is literally no pavements. When turning left towards Pondwell there is a blind bend/corner which with increased traffic would become another safety concern. When turning right you are faced with the already over stretched Westridge traffic lights junction.

Hope Road: The approved development of 86 dwellings off Hope Road and the increase of traffic that will be created from these new houses means that traffic accessing Marlborough Road from Hope Road will be way over capacity.

Marlborough Road: There is new access proposed on Marlborough Road through the demolition of the garage at 125, Marlborough Road. Marlborough Road in a major route frequently with tail backs towards Tesco at the Westridge junction a new access point here will be dangerous to car users and pedestrians.

Traffic generated pollution is rising. Furthermore, due to constantly increasing levels of traffic in and around Elmfield noise levels have also risen considerably in the last 10-20 years. In some local roads traffic noise is now 24/7 and the size and weight of vehicles regularly using the inadequate road network has also increased substantially. My road desperately needs substantial rebuilding works to accommodate these increases but every year it is overlooked in the PFI programme, yet it is one of the roads currently used by Captiva Homes to transport materials to site and it is stated will continue to be used if this application is also approved.

The addition these homes will bring further demand for the islands resources and put further pressure on local infrastructure.

The location does not have adequate road access and in fact will cause and increase in highway safety issues on Appley, Bullen, and Marlborough Roads.

INFRA-STRUCTURE

Deliberate increase in Island residential population without prior provision of necessary infrastructure is an act taken with knowledge that it be condemning residents of the Isle of Wight to worse quality of life and decreased provision of support and service, and for some will be condemning them to an avoidable early death.

Infra-structure specifically within Ryde is already inadequate. Ryde has historically suffered from under investment in road network and service provision. Added to this there has been insufficient investment over recent years in additional infra-structure requirements in and around Ryde to accommodate all the new houses built and increased population that has occurred.

Ryde already requires:
Increased road capacity, especially in transit through Ryde to main employment centre in Newport and the tourist Bay area of Sandown & Shanklin, Improved road junctions, Improvements to pedestrian use, Improved Public Transportation,

All of the above especially apply to Ryde East and more specifically to existing local residents of Elmfield.

More Public Services such as Doctors, Hospital Services, Dentists, Community Centres, Sports and Leisure Facilities, Policing, Education, New Employment Opportunities/Areas etc. are already lacking to need existing need, let alone increased need.

If this increasing Public Service need is ever met, with Ryde infrastructure already unable to cope with existing pressure and use, how is it ever going to cope with additional use.

How will these increased services, if they were ever to happen, be able function and perform at the required level with their mobility increasingly limited?

The Isle of Wight cannot sustain a large influx of people moving here, the infrastructure is poor – roads are already extremely congested.

TOTAL WIPE OUT OF AN HISTORIC AREA

The proposal is unsympathetic to achieving Island Plan Core Strategy objectives promise to ‘protect, conserve and enhance the Island’s natural, historic and built environments’ and ‘support sustainable and thriving communities that enable people to enjoy quality of life, without compromising the quality of the environment.’

We were told by the developers that Westridge Dairy Farm’s future was safe with them – it turns out they were just lying!

Some historical context may assist here. The land for phase A has previously been subject to a planning application which went to a planning inspector hearing (reference APP/P2114/A/03/1119366)) The overall land covered by the farm was examined and the quotes below are taken from the planning inspectorate report which dismissed the appeal made by an applicant in January 2004. This is was on the basis that the Phase A area was Grade 2 and the remainder of Westridge Farm was Grade 3

“In my view …….Grade 1 and Grade 2 land amounts to only 3% of the island’s agricultural land and its protection in this context is of particular importance”

“I consider the loss to development of 1.6ha of grade 2 land to be a material objection of substance…….minimising the loss of the best and most versatile land is implicit in national and local policy even if the use of grade 2 land is justified in principle”

Whilst I note that the land in Phase A has apparently been downgraded to grade 3 this is contrary to a survey carried out by Highfield Farming Consultancy dated January 2003 and specific to the Phase A field. The report noted that the previous survey, carried out by the Farming and Rural Conservation Agency (FRCA) identified the land as being of ‘Grade 2 – Very Good Quality Agricultural Land’

Following works by Southern Water along the whole length of the eastern boundary of the field for the high pressure Sewer Transfer Pipeline the Highfield Report examined the field. The conclusion was produced and the points below were made

“The soil is very well drained”

“The general quality of the soil would be in the MAFF Agricultural Land Classification Grade 2 with soil moisture being a limiting factor in crop performance”

However as this is a dairy farm the crop performance was and is immaterial.
This raises the point as to how this particular area of the farm has been downgraded or somehow included within the overall classification and whether this was taken into account when the land was identified as a site to be built upon. The view of the planning inspector was that the loss of even this small piece of land would prevent the development and this led to a substantially smaller development occupying one portion of the field being granted approx 6 months later, allowing for the tenant farmer to continue to use the remaining area.

I would respectively remind the planning committee that this is “an active farm” as the developers quote in their publicity material. Interestingly I also note that initially the statement by the developers was that farming was to continue to the eastern side of the development but in later material this statement has disappeared.

HISTORY

The historical report from David Booth included in the planning application has centred on Westridge House, but the farmland now known as Westridge Farm is recorded even earlier than 1842.

The Preston Vavascour Estate is recorded in the Doomsday Book.

Westridge Farm was known as the Old House and is recorded as a farmland back in 1771, and also recorded earlier in 1686. The historic hedgerows and field layout of the Westridge Farmland (on which this proposed development site is situated) have remained unchanged since that time. The earlier central property to the area was Turberville Farm which was located towards Appley, of which estate the Old House Farm was a part of. Turberville was previously known as the Vavascour Estate, which was recorded as the Preston Vavascour Estate in the Doomsday Book.

Ryde and the Isle of Wight cannot lose such an historic location. It one the few remaining parts of it’s ancient agricultural history that has remained undisturbed and unchanged for centuries. No modern in depth archaeological/historical survey has yet been conducted of the farmland and it is essential that the possible historical and archaeological importance of this site is fully explored and established before any permission to build on it might be considered. With the ancient track on which the farmhouse is located, the path of which runs across the middle of the proposed development site and is still identifiable today, continuing beyond towards the bottom of Springvale, one would have to question why this was so and what the significance of the shore at Springvale might be. Perhaps another early settlement like those of Salterns and Fishbourne along this part of the Island’s coast?

Quotes from:

Island Plan Core Strategy Principle:
‘To protect, conserve and enhance the Island’s natural, historic and built environments.’

National Planning Policy Principle:
‘conserve heritage assets in a manner appropriate to their significance, so that they can be enjoyed for their contribution to the quality of life of this and future generations’

ECOLOGY & WILDLIFE

Westridge Farm has been farmed for hundreds of years and its strong fertility provides rich pasture and grazing land. It has woodlands and hedges that have been in place for 100s of years. This provides a natural habitat for 1000s of species of insects, 25 species of bat, the endangered species of Hazel Dormouse, Red Squirrels, birds, migrating birds, rabbits, hares, foxes amongst many others. Urbanisation and disturbance on the 1000s years eco-system will have damaging affect and is in contravention of the National Policy Framework.

We need to protect and preserve this location as a working farm and to preserve its mixed ecology and wildlife. Many other creatures, feed and use the very fields that the proposed planning application is wishing to build on. The hedgerows and fields have remained unchanged for centuries, with the farmland going back to the Doomsday Book. There is a rich and long established ecology presence. Over 1km (approximately) of ancient hedgerow is set to be removed to make way for this development, destroying historic habitats and changing the landscape forever.

These ancient hedgerows have been maintained and managed by the tenant farmers with Natural England stating that any hedgerows can’t be cut between Sept 1st and March 1st every year to protect the habitat of nesting birds. Westridge Farm is a haven for many birds, being a large green open space full of diverse habitat and hedgerows.

Natural England state that ‘A hedgerow is important if it’s at least 30 years old.’

It is well known that neither ancient hedgerows nor trees can be successfully replaced or replanted, nor do dead animals come back to life after their habitats are fatally destroyed, nor does over 1000 year of natural “looked after” green land, nor will the UNESCO Biodiversity status which IW.M.P. Seely achieved for the Island ever be restored, once withdrawn, if there is no proper respect for the natural Island land.

Flora and fauna and wildlife habitat will be lost forever. A valuable green ‘lung’ permanently destroyed.

COTHEY BOTTOM COPSE – ANCIENT WOODLAND WITH TPOs

I would like to object very strongly to the proposed development, in particular the footpath through Cothey Bottom Copse.

The copse is home to many rare and important wildlife. There are many Red Squirrels, Green Woodpeckers, Badgers, Red Fox, Crested Newts, Common Newt plus various frogs and toads. The building of an unnecessary footpath will greatly spoil this area of natural beauty.

I object to a path going through Cothey Copse as it isn’t needed. Much of this woodland is ancient and a haven for the red squirrels, foxes and bats and newts. We are an Island and should be protecting our wildlife. Where is it supposed to go with all this development being built around it?

COTHEY BOTTOM COPSE (ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOUR, FLY TIPPING, CAMPING ETC.)

ASB: There is likely to be an increase in Antisocial behaviour if a through way is made through the Copse. The proposed route is away from the main road and out of sight of neighbouring houses. This is likely to become a prominent hit spot for unruly youths, drug users, drug dealers etc. Furthermore, it is likely there will be littering causing further destruction to the Copse habitats.

I agree with some of the other objections that the footpath would just become a dump for litter and a haven for unsocial behaviour.

The Copse will become the perfect place for illegal camping.

FUTURE DEVELOPMENT – OF THE WOODLAND IF PATH ESTABLISHED

When I bought my home I was assured that as the copse is an ancient woodland and that this would mean that the area could not be developed in any way, whilst I understand that the addition of a footpath is not ‘development’ as such, I do feel that it could be the beginning of the ‘humanisation’ of the woodland.

PARKING – ACCESS TO THE COPSE FOR RECREATIONAL USE

If Cothey Bottom Copse becomes a recreational area the I fear cars will be parked along Bullen Road to access the site, not everyone will walk or cycle to the copse.  Whilst I have no objection to responsible dog owners who clean up after their pets there may well be people who take their dogs there so they don’t have to clean up after them.  Dogs in this area will also have a detrimental effect on the wildlife and the woodland would no longer be a haven for them.

FLOODING

The Island Plan states the “The Council will expect development proposals to reduce the overall and local risk of flooding on the Island”. The stated land within this natural countryside valley made up of sloping fields, hedgerows, woodland and a natural stream currently acts as a natural prevention of flooding risk. This housing development will man artificial processes such as pumping stations would have to be used and increases the likelihood of flooding.

 

This proposed housing development increases the likelihood of flooding. The proposed development land within this natural countryside valley made up of sloping fields, hedgerows, woodland and a natural stream currently acts as a natural prevention of flooding risk.

There are flooding risks, The Environment Agency Report has recommended that this development does not go ahead due to exacerbating risk of flooding.

Homes have been flooded previously because drainage for the area is inadequate. Removal of natural field drainage and increased concrete roads will cause Ryde to be at further risk of flooding. Living with fear of flood is debilitating is detrimental to peoples mental health.

This application fails to take account of the proximity of the Ryde to Sandown main sewer pipeline which runs along the north eastern boundary of the Appley field, yet according to the plans, building will include a service road along this boundary.

This pipeline has an air valve emplacement situated directly behind my rear garden in Thornton Manor Drive and this has the unfortunate habit of regularly leaking causing the area around it to flood. Each time this happens, Southern Water have to call in contractors who have to use a large excavator to access the air valve.

This begs the question as to how Southern Water will carry out routine maintenance on the whole pipeline once the land is developed.

High Pressure pipeline Mention has already been made of the Southern Water Sewer Transfer Pipeline which runs alongside the eastern boundary of the Phase A area. Looking at the submitted plans there appears to be no account of this being made. The pipeline has been dug up in various areas along its run within the field several times since originally being laid and even now there is an area on the eastern boundary that is fenced off with ‘deep pit’ signs. Is it possible to build properties over the top of this pipeline as the developers indicate? There appears to be no reference within the application that refers to how future issues with the pipeline would be dealt with and which would render construction along the eastern boundary impossible

Flooding and drainage–Bullen road regularly has problems
during heavy storms.

HOSPITAL

We have seen during the on-going pandemic how fragile the NHS is, without developing the infrastructure first , I cannot see how the Island can possibly support this scale of development across the island. St Marys Hospital has a CQC Rating of ‘requires Improvement’ they need more support not additional pressure.

The over development on the island will put further strain on St. Mary’s Hospital.

St Mary’s is already failing and struggling to provide in areas of treatment.

St Mary’s has only just reached ‘requires improvement’, does not have capacity to meet needs of increased population, particularly over 65’s.

The one and only existing hospital St Mary’s is already unable to meet and provide for needs of current Isle of Wight population.

How is it possible to provide for increased island population?

DOCTORS, GPs

The proposed development includes a GP surgery which is misleading as it indicates that there have been discussions with the IW Clinical Commissioning Group (who commission GP surgeries). A GP surgery is also mentioned in the Pennyfeather development which already has outline planning permission and the IW Council’s current Nicolson Road Community Hub application. The latter GP proposal is the only one the IW CCG has discussed and this involves the proposal of an existing GP Surgery, Esplanade Surgery, moving to Nicolson Road. The inclusion of a GP surgery within the West Acre Park development is purely speculation on the developer’s part and the developer provides no substantive evidence how this fits within the current IW CCG policy.

 

The sales pamphlet sells ‘a much needed GP Surgery’, where may I ask are the medical professionals coming from when some of the Island’s surgeries have current problems finding staff.

“Much-needed GP surgery”. True, but can go anywhere within the Island.

This is probably also the appropriate time to consider the ‘Surgery’. Local research and discussion reveals that the Island Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has no plans to move anywhere near this proposed site. Existing plans such as Pennyfeathers have also included GP facilities but where do the applicants propose that the staff will be coming from? This is simply an attempt to show the development as some sort of ‘community’ when the reality is that post Covid there are more on line consultations and this is more likely to be a GP surgery in name but a future commercial and profit making building in reality.

There are 3 new planning proposals already which include Doctors’ Surgeries in Ryde. All these within a mile of each other? These proposals are very ambitious in the prevailing circumstances of medical shortages. Noted: still only one Hospital, though.

Health and social care could not cope with an artificially inflated increase in population through large numbers of people moving here. Already problems registering with dentists, long waits for GP appointments due to problems recruiting and retaining GP’s

DENTISTS

Like doctor’s it is almost impossible to get and appointment unless it is an emergency.  This development will be home to at least 1,000 people and will only increase the strain on an already oversubscribed service.

SCHOOLS

The new Oakfield Primary school is ill equipped to take a sudden influx of additional children as the ‘new build’ is actually smaller foot space than the old buildings. So how is the overcrowding of the classrooms successful to our children’s education.

Existing schools perform well below the national average and fail the existing island’s children, how are they going to cope with more children and address current failings.

Average class sizes are increasing since 2017 (IOW Council 2017/18). Attainment of GCSE is extremely low, proportion achieving grade 9-5 in Eng / maths IOW 33.3%, England 39.9%. (IOW Council 2017/18). Local schools will not cope with large increases of pupils.

UTILITIES – ALREADY STRETCHED

All these extra cars (pollution), demands on electricity, demands on an antiquated sewage/water system, all who already live in the Elmfield area will have plenty of service crashes.

There are already issues with water pressure in the area that further development will exascerbate. In addition there are problems with sewage in Sandown Bay as that is where all the sewage goes which is affecting marine life and causing concern to the Marine Conservation Society.

ESSENTIAL SERVICES AND EXISTING INABILITY TO ATTRACT PROFESSIONALS TO ISLE OF WIGHT

Hospital, Schools, GP surgeries, Dental practises – all are oversubscribed and struggling to cope with current demand. It’s not just the buildings but staffing them that has to be taken into consideration. Essential services – water, electricity, sewage, fire, social services etc. are also struggling to meet current demands and the Island has too few police officers, despite antisocial behaviour rising.

Health and social care could not cope with an artificially inflated increase in population through large numbers of people moving here.

EMPLOYMENT

Employment – are there the jobs on the Island for the new residents?

Westridge Farm is the home and livelihood for a family who have worked tirelessley as key workers through the Covid-19 pandemic. They have been tenant farmers at Westridge Farm since 1966. Local businesses and suppliers that provide services to Westridge Farm would be effected by loss of business through the closure of Westridge Farm.

This proposal is residential in nature and only provides a café and potential doctors surgery and small office space. Ryde already has existing high levels of unemployment, especially during winter months. Existing designated land for increasing employment in the locality has not yet been developed to alleviate existing unemployment let alone to accommodate increased local population levels.

LOSS OF PRIVACY

I am deeply disappointed that I will have TOTAL loss of privacy. The plans show I will be completely overlooked. I have spent a lot of time and money making this my forever home only to have no privacy at all.

PROFIT DRIVEN – NOT BUILT FOR THE COMMUNITY

This would appear to be for profit and not for the benefit of the community. Who is going to buy these houses?

The Isle of Wight cannot provide housing for all who would wish to move here from the mainland. The priority should be for island people to have homes of the right type that they can rent. These homes should be sited where the countryside and wildlife would not be destroyed and where there are good opportunities for transport other than the private car.

It is worth remembering that the developers have no interest in improving the islands services, they merely want to build houses for profit. They do not care about the future of the island, they just care about the return on their investment.

LIGHT POLLUTION – NO DARK SKIES

Dark skies are special areas where there are low levels of light pollution. When there is an absence of light pollution thousands of stars are revealed at night. This is beneficial to the wildlife and tranquillity of an area.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has been a stalwart champion for the protection and improvement of dark skies, and against the spread of unnecessary artificial light.

Source: https://www.wightaonb.org.uk/explore/dark-skies/

Once completed light pollution will increase as will traffic noise and traffic pollution will cause a further reduction in air quality for local residents.

If this development is passed then the affect will not only be on residents but the wildlife too.  We can currently sit in our garden and see the star constellations along with Venus and currently Jupiter.  We also have the aerial display of feasting bats.  All of this will be lost

I notice that the Westridge Farm development (so far built) has street lighting. If this lighting is extended over the whole West Acre development, even though it is directed in a downward direction, it must surely interfere with the Islands dark sky policy.

NOISE / AIR POLLUTION

Previous applications and examination of the Trucast site in 1999 when the public enquiry was held into the UDP the Council objected to any housing development taking place in the Phase A field. The main reason given was that the noise from the Foundry operations would affect new housing and potentially jeopardise continuing employment at Trucast. A witness, David Moore, Senior Planning Officer gave evidence that a noise nuisance had been established and the Council barrister, Michael Bedford, said that it would not be a good decision to allow housing developments where history showed noise problems may be expected.

I am assuming that the EH aspects have been dealt with in the intervening years BUT there are still emissions and the only reference I can find to Trucast is in the screening report – see page 22 Section 3 – Para 3.1 concludes that

“The Marlborough Road /Appley Road Junction and the Marlborough Road /Bullen Road Junction has the potential for exceedance of the air quality objectives of Nitrogen dioxide, PM10 and PM2.5
This could result in significant impacts to local people and the environment as a result of emissions. At this stage, it is not possible to rule out significant effects or identify mitigation measures and given the requirements of the Regulations, it must be concluded that impacts would be of a level to justify the submission of an Environmental Statement, so that the issue could be fully assessed. It is considered that air quality impacts could not be adequately assessed through a standard planning application.

The only reference to Trucast is in Para 3.3 and appears to be in error as it reads
(and this is copied directly)

“Aside from a pond dating from 1862 mapping there are no sites of potential concern identified within the proposed area development. The adjacent Trucast site is identified as of possible concern is a former works off Bullen Road but these are not within the proposed development

Whilst the report is correct – that Trucast is not within the proposed development such a statement cannot justify this bizarre decision to site what should be a place of wellbeing and healing next to an existing foundry. To describe a large, 24 hour operation foundry, right on the existing boundary of the site as ‘of possible concern’ is a masterpiece of understatement. I can only draw the conclusion that the author has not actually seen the site OR this is simply an attempt to down play the obvious.

As the Isle of Wight Council have declared a Climate Emergency, I cannot see how large scale developments which do not allow for ‘green travel’ fit in with this declaration.

TRAFFIC POLLUTION

“Improvements to local roads and highway structure”. Quite the opposite. Bullen Road is too narrow for any meaningful traffic – based alteration. There is limited extra footway space available, and Westridge Cross is already overloaded – a situation that can only worsen if Smallbrook Lane is modified by the changes being proposed in the vicinity of Nicholson Road etc.

The proposal is for a car dependent development with over a thousand parking spaces on site, yet much of the access would be from minor roads where two cars can only pass with difficulty. Appley, Bullen and Great Preston roads are all minor roads. Should this development take place then traffic flow is predicted to increase on Bullen road alone by more than 25%. Given that there are no shops within walking distance, and there is only one small food shop proposed on site, residents would doubtless be obliged to use their cars to travel to Tesco or into Ryde.

As the Isle of Wight Council have declared a Climate Emergency, I cannot see how large scale developments which do not allow for ‘green travel’ fit in with this declaration.

The developers want to encourage homeowners on the site to reduce the use of the car, by making footpaths across green spaces and ancient woodland, yet provide parking for 1013 cars. Are they going to tell the occupants to walk to Tescos!

If all these applications result in building works commencing within the next couple of years the residents of Elmfield and Appley will be subjected to continual site noise and pollution for up to 20 years, or more. Quality of life will be non-existent for at least 2 decades.

PANDEMIC – PROVED BUILT UP AREAS WORST AFFECTED

If COVID has taught us anything, it is that we need to support the British Farmers that have kept us supplied with food and dairy products throughout the pandemic.

PANDEMIC

By submitting this application whilst residents are still having to prevent catching Covid19 (the World’s greatest pandemic and the UK’s biggest crisis since World War Two) and submitting the application during the school holidays, has meant the majority of residents are excluded from being able to make their voices heard. This in my view infringes their Human Rights under the 1998 Human Rights Act and brings into question the whole validity of this application.

You cannot seriously consider exchanging a dairy farm for 400+ homes. Surely it must be obvious that as we leave the EU we need to be looking at ways of becoming more self-supportive as far as food is concerned so allowing a dairy farm to be lost in this way is plain stupid.

COVID 19 – WELLBEING AND RECESSION

This application has been submitted during the Coronavirus pandemic denying local residents a public voice to object to it. Because of Covid 19 restrictions our ward councillors and RTC have been unable to organise any public meetings where people could come together en-masse to voice their concerns.

One of the key things that does not seem to have been considered is where all these people will work. Let’s not forget that the already island suffers a high level of unemployment and across the UK we are entering a deep recession and many redundancies as a result of the Covid19 pandemic. One wonders whether this is the right time to be introducing new housing at all.

The Covid19 crisis has identified that people value green space and the outdoors. The proposal, as well as the other large developments around the island, is building on our precious green space, and to turn Ryde into a huge sprawling residential estate (beyond what it is already) through this and other developments, will not benefit the community it will only harm people’s health and wellbeing.

BUILDING WORK – 9 YEARS. 12 HOURS A DAY PLUS HALF DAY SATURDAY

I note that this development will take over 9 years to build. For the duration of the building, the resident’s local area will suffer air quality impacts from not only the lorries which bring materials, but also the building dusts, as well as nine years of noise and disruption caused by the ongoing work.

This development is scheduled to take 9 years once started to complete. It is being asked that 12 hour days are allowed Monday to Friday and half days on Saturdays. Only Sundays, Bank Holidays and Christmas will be exempt. Site disturbance will affect the whole area for almost a decade.

“Much need new homes” – for who? If that is the case, why is West Acre being advertised as far afield as the Midlands?

QUALITY OF LIFE – STRESS, MENTAL WELLBEING

We do not have an obligation on the Island to line the pockets of developers. We have a duty to the people of the Isle of Wight. It is our responsibility to meet their needs as far as we are able. This development would not meet their needs and in fact quite the opposite, it would destroy a great deal of wildlife habitat, reduce the quality of life for many and wipe out the livelihoods and future of the family who work Westridge Farm. No compensation could be paid to them to right that wrong.

Impact on the living conditions of neighbouring dwellings including the loss of privacy, outlook and the overbearing impact of yet another development in the vacinity.

People underestimate the psychological effect of open green spaces and fields which are beneficial to peoples wellbeing. Constant urbanisation is detrimental to this.

Large, open green spaces, have many positive effects on a population including:

“Exposure to green spaces has been associated with, among others, improved perceived general health, better pregnancy outcomes (e.g. birth weight), enhanced brain development in children, better cognitive function in adults, improved mental health, lower risk of a number of chronic diseases (e.g. diabetes and cardiovascular conditions), and reduced mortality”. Particularly for populations with large proportion of low socio-economic status groups, such as the IOW.

(Dadvand P., Nieuwenhuijsen M. (2019) Green Space and Health. In: Nieuwenhuijsen M., Khreis H. (eds) Integrating Human Health into Urban and Transport Planning. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-74983-9_20)

DIVISION OF CURRENT ELMFIELD COMMUNITY UNITY.

I feel Westacre Park will overwhelm Ryde. The promises of a community cafe, recreation ground and play area are just to sweeten the fact.

The developers describe West Acre Park as a community which residents can move to and grow. It says nothing of how the residents moving onto the site would integrate into the rest of the Elmfield community. The way this site is being marketed leads me to the belief that it will be a separate community to Elmfield and that there will be little inter-reaction between current Elmfield and West Acre residents. Indeed this development is so large that I doubt residents from one end of the estate will know residents from the other end. Hardly a community.

DISCRIMINATION – OLDER ADULTS, DISABLED, NON-CAR DRIVERS

It discriminates against older adults, children, those who do not drive and those with disabilities as it impedes their human rights and independence of not providing accessible public transport in reasonable walking distance on all homes built on the site.

FUTURE GENERATIONS – WHAT WILL THEY INHERIT?

I want a future for my children and am devastated seeing how many developments are going through in Ryde. Save Westridge Farm

If the Island is to continue to provide an environment that holidaymakers will want to visit then it has to remain special. This does not mean that it will need to stand still in time. It does mean that to attract visitors who will be prepared to travel the extra few miles and pay the cost of the ferry to get here, it will need to offer something unique. Businesses across the island are developing and modernising to keep up with what visitors want to enjoy when they get here. A huge part of the attraction however is our countryside. This beautiful asset is rapidly being reduced in size and that is not sustainable. The overdevelopment by building houses that are not needed will quickly destroy the scenery and character that people mainly come to see. We are in serious danger of ‘killing the goose that laid the golden egg’. Without the green and pleasant landscape that we are so fortunate to have there will not be a healthy economy and the jobs that the tourist industry provides.

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