The developer behind the new luxury homes at the former Atherfield Bay Holiday Camp has hit back at allegations the site has breached planning permission.
Some residents have called the scheme an inappropriate overdevelopment and said ‘unacceptable, unauthorised changes’ have been made.
When the first plans came to the Isle of Wight Council’s planning department, they were refused for being too big but following modifications, a smaller scheme was approved.
Now, through applications for variations, the site has been given permission to open all year round and is now seeking ‘minor material amendments’ such as reinstating the swimming pool and reconfiguring the approved units.
However, parish councils, residents and the Island’s branch of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, have all objected to the scheme and alleged it has breached planning permission by building the units taller than approved and including more windows, which could affect the dark skies project in the area.
Responding to the allegations of breaches, Alan Dugard, of developers Interguide IOW, said they were all speculation and the units are exactly the height they should be on the planning permission with no extra units.
Brighstone Parish Council said, in its objection, it has previously raised concerns regarding the deviation in the buildings from the original planning permission and strongly object to the changes being regularised as a minor amendment.
The planning officer for the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty said this application had been submitted to give retrospective permission to breaches that have occurred on-site and it did not advocate carrying out development without planning permission.
Cllr Steve Hastings, the leader of the Conservative group at County Hall and also ward representative for the area, said the whole thing was a nightmare and there were “so many breaches it was taking the mickey”.
“What [the developer] has done is ridden a coach and horses through the planning permission and conditions.
“This has been built, building what they fancy, on the coast.
“Down the road, at Brook, we have erosion of the Military Road and Island Roads (IR) have an application in for a barrier to halt that.
“IR cannot get that application through as it is complicated by Natural England, the National Trust, Heritage Coast, you name it, for multiple reasons and that is for a barrier which will hardly be noticed or seen just to prevent the Military Road from falling into the water.
“And yet just down the coast, they seem to be able to build what they like, I don’t get it.”
The Isle of Wight Council has confirmed it is investigating through its planning enforcement team but it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.
Having taken over the redevelopment of the site into the Sandy Lanes holiday home park, developer Mr Dugard said Interguide IOW had not breached anything.
“We are working with the council, we have not breached anything.
“When we inherited the planning, it had gone on for a considerable time from the previous owners. In the end, things just got put there for the sake of it, wherever we needed.
“We changed and repositioned buildings and introduced larger units, not massively, so they had disabled access.”
“I do want to make sure things are right on all that we do … We don’t want to upset anyone.”
Mr Dugard also said while it was supposed to be a holiday park, locals would be able to become members to use the gym, swimming pool and clubhouse facilities which would create jobs and give back to that side of the Island.
In planning documents submitted on behalf of the development, it said changes had been identified that would be more ‘reflective; of the 5-star objective of the all-year-round holiday park.
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