Judicial Review Fund Raising

URGENT UPDATE – Westridge Farmland and West Acre Park Development

August 04, 2023

Posted on CrowdJustice Save Westridge Farm Campaign:

Update 4th August 2023:

  • Since 25th April 2023 Isle of Wight Council has NOT YET ISSUED PLANNING CONSENT.
  • Residents are still seeking Judicial Review.
  • Lawyers acting on behalf of residents have prepared a detailed case and are only waiting for Isle of Wight Council to issue consent.
  • Legal Action is Imminent! It is believed consent is about to be issued in the next week or so.

Isle of Wight Council needs being held to account.

  • We are short of the fundraising target and we do need to hit it.
  • We need your financial support to make sure our fighting fund is able to go all the way, so we still need your further support.

Please give generously if you can, and please also spread the word to others. Thank you. 

What has happened in this application process is simply wrong, and if not put before a Judge, Isle of Wight Council will get away with a huge miscarriage of justice, and other applications such as currently in Bembridge would be affected by bad and misleading process.

Lawyers acting on behalf of the residents have identified a large number of errors made by the Council during the planning application process. They have prepared a detailed case for a Judicial Review. A Judicial Review looks at whether the proper process was followed during the application process. We do not have the right to seek a Judicial Review until consent is issued.

We have no information on the delay in issuing consent, but view this as a possible continuing strategy of the Isle of Wight Council to drag out the process even longer to exhaust residents’ will and ability to fight on.

Lawyers have been on standby with a fully developed legal case poised against the Isle of Wight Council. There have been delays totalling 2 years which we view as being the possible continued strategy of the Council to exhaust residents and supporters of this cause which is viewed as totally achievable.

Last Chance to Stop this Development

On 25th April 2023, Isle of Wight Council Planning Committee approved the planning application to build 472 dwellings for a second time by a narrow margin of 6 votes to 5.

Until planning consent is granted and issued by Isle of Wight Council, residents do not have the right to seek Judicial Review.

We believe consent is about to be issued.

Global Boiling, Not Global Warming!

“The era of global boiling has arrived. Climate change is here. It is terrifying. And it is just the beginning” the UN secretary general, António Guterres, has said after scientists confirmed July was on track to be the world’s hottest month on record. July is now the hottest month ever recorded.

Westridge Farmland is very much about green fields essential to the Island’s fragile biosphere and natural environment, and also its coastal eco-system.

If 472 houses are built in Ryde on this site the following would have happened! These are reasons to continue supporting this fight:

  • No Democracy – Isle of Wight Council as a Local Planning Authority would get away with not having followed proper process in deciding this application. They will get away with a huge miscarriage of justice which could lead to further faulty application processes being passed. This puts every resident at risk of wrong decision making, and every green field and important environmental site at risk. This eats away at the very special fabric of the Island! Isle of Wight Council has not followed required process, has not taken into consideration real material planning considerations and has not properly listened to its residents.
  • Climate Change Crisis! – This green field site is part of a corridor of green land that goes from the south and east of Ryde north to Appley Park and Appley Beach, which is an important protected and internationally recognised shoreline. It is a corridor that protects wildlife, and provides breeding and feeding grounds for many endangered and internationally protected species including Curlew and Dormouse. Simply by building on this site, there is a danger the whole local natural eco-system will be destroyed at a time of climate change crisis and the need to protect the environment and also have the ability to produce food locally.
  • Against Isle of Wight Council’s Draft Planning Strategy which states:
    “The loss or deterioration of irreplaceable habitats will not be permitted except in wholly exceptional cases and then only when a suitable compensation strategy is provided. There are a number of habitats and features outside of designated sites that make a significant contribution to local biodiversity. Development proposals are expected to promote the maintenance and enhancement of the links between designated sites and to positively contribute to the aims and objectives of the biodiversity action plans.”
    The Draft Planning Strategy makes much of the Isle of Wight’s UNESCO Biosphere status.
    We note that Iain Delaney, Director of Captiva Homes the developers, is on the Isle of WIght Biosphere Steering Group.
  • Sewage in the Sea – Appley Beach and surrounding area, part of the Solent and Southampton Water Special Protection Area (SPA), is a precious, protected and environmentally important resource for both nature and human well-being.
    However, it is in danger daily and in the last twelve months over 135 illegal releases of sewage were made by Southern Water at Appley Beach due to increasing heavy flash rain flooding and overpowering of our old sewage system forcing sewage being released into the sea at Appley.
    The Westridge Farmland development will increase the risk of rain flash flooding with sewage destroying the marine life, destroying Ryde’s tourism economy, impacting on the Island’s tourism economy, and risking health.

In posting these updates, we are conscious that the matter of the destruction of Westridge Farmland and the planning application for West Acre Park has evolved into a real saga.

Indeed, this whole nightmare is now tragically interwoven into the fabric of the history and the future of the beautiful town of Ryde and its internationally important surrounding countryside and coastal habitat.

Please contribute all you can to help us fight this wrongdoing.

What we need right now:

  • Your positive support to make our voices heard.
  • Your financial support to make sure we have enough money to seek and to completely follow through on Judicial Review.

Thank you.

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