COUNCIL SLAM PETITION OVER RYDE ESPLANADE DESIGN THAT RESIDENTS DIDN’T GET A SAY ON

The Isle of Wight Council has slammed a petition which calls on the authority to get planning permission to make the proposed changes to Ryde Esplanade.

The authority says those who started the petition have misinterpreted the planning process it is required to follow when developing highway improvements.

The petition has gathered more than 400 signatures in under a week and was started by former member of the Ryde Regeneration Group, businesswoman Cathy Foulkes.

Article continues below this advertisement

In the petition addressed to the council’s leadership team, Mrs Foulkes says on 15th July, when the matter comes before Cabinet, the authority will decide whether to support a plan to make enormous changes to the Esplanade without going through the same planning process Islanders are expected to follow.

The petition says:

“The people of Ryde and visitors enjoy the seafront and beaches. We want the town to thrive and expect to have a say in major changes.

“The council must morally, if not legally, follow their own rules.”

Article continues below this advertisement

Mrs Foulkes says the current consultation run by the Council does not let residents have a say on important matters as it ends after the scheme will be implemented and power handed to the director of neighbourhoods.

Some of those matters said to be of major importance include:

  • removing the popular public toilets, café, public open space and car parking;
  • supposedly creating 1.3km² more highway space;
  • obscuring views of the Victorian seafront buildings;
  • rerouting buses up George Street;
  • increasing traffic congestion and damaging the environment;
  • adding street clutter such as signage and traffic lights where presently traffic flows freely

Responding to the petition, an Isle of Wight Council spokesperson said it was grateful for the interest being shown in the proposals but it fails to recognise the proposed improvements like the station refurbishment and tramway pier reinstatement. They said:

Article continues below this advertisement

“Residents should be assured the council has followed planning procedures properly and the current consultation provides an opportunity for them to be involved again in the development of the scheme and to help ensure the best decision is made about this project.”

The Council says the scheme was developed in consultation with the Ryde Regeneration Group — with representatives of Ryde Town Council, Ryde Business Association and Ryde Society — who, at the time, sought relocation of the cafe and toilet block to increase the visibility of the pier, which will now happen. However, local residents were not consulted on the plans meaning such a major decision has been made by a small handful of people.

Facilities will be provided within the remodelled station building, the council say, including fully accessible disabled toilets, a new facade, an expanded cafe and access to the boardwalk.

The vehicle access to the pier will be moved to where the toilets and cafe currently are, creating a drop-off and pick-up area.

The spokesperson said:

“The main purpose of the project is to improve connectivity and accessibility for travellers at the gateway to Ryde.

“At the same time, it aims to make the area around the interchange, pier and Esplanade a better, safer place for people to visit and enjoy as a destination in itself. Improving the environment for pedestrians is at the heart of the plan.”

The council says the scheme rebalances land use in favour of pedestrians and cyclists rather than motor vehicles — providing 988m² more pedestrianised public space — with the scope for significantly enhanced planting to make up for the areas that will be removed.

As the £10million funding is coming from the Department for Transport, timescale conditions have been set out which must be followed — including the final deadline of March 2023 for all projects to be completed and working.

The council say the purpose of the cabinet decision, which does not prejudge the findings of the consultation, will help avoid any programme delays due to the political recess over the summer which might affect the authority’s ability to secure funding.

Another condition, which was critical the council say in securing the funding for the wider project, was the proposed arrangements for buses to access George Street directly when heading westbound — rather than the extended trip around the Esplanade.

You can view the petition at www.change.org/RydeEsplanadeMatters.

Don’t miss another story! Get the Island’s latest news delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up to our daily newsletter here.

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
14 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Terry
Terry
10 months ago

The previous council continually made decisions without involving the electorate, just one of the reasons they were voted out. Times are changing, and the new council should realise, that decisions of this sort, without public agreement, can only send them down a rocky road.

Yam
Yam
10 months ago

How about they spend some money clearing up the rubbish and weeds etc outside the town centre! Not seen a cleaner/ weed remover for at least. 2 years!

Telling it like it is.
Telling it like it is.
Reply to  Yam
10 months ago

Clean up rubbish and litter yes, and while we’re at it those horrendous little black bags left around all over the place containing dog crap, take it home with you, people! Stop getting your poor dogs a bad name! But as for so called “weeds”, they are merely wild plants or garden escapes and walking around and seeing straight lines of brown, grey and beige everywhere, it is welcome to see a few little bits of green poking through somewhere. Shows that Nature is trying to fight back at man’s attempt to smother the earth in concrete and totally control everything that grows. Plants benefit our environment, concrete doesn’t.

Sir Digby Chicken Caesar
Sir Digby Chicken Caesar
10 months ago

And we all thought Dave Stewarts mob were bad, this lot have now started to show up in their true colours, many murky shades of brown…….

Oldbutalive
Oldbutalive
10 months ago

Well, if the Council do not like the public calling into question something they have denied the public a right to be involved in, then THEY should leave their job so that someone that talks and listens to the public that they are supposed to be serving can replace them.

yes way
yes way
10 months ago

Still don’t quite understand why an earlier draft wasn’t made public months ago. It’s quite an arrogant point of view to think that the scheme couldn’t be improved with public input.

And hence why there is lots of opposition at this late stage when asking people to comment on colours of flowers.

isle of wighter
isle of wighter
10 months ago

The residents do not want this disruption, noise and hell on earth on their doorsteps imposed on them by councilors who live far away and haven’t even had the decency to engage with the people, whose money it is they are planning to pocket, i mean spend.

get rid of these dictators and leave the seafront alone – it is fine as it is.

Mark
Mark
10 months ago

So called consultations always have been and always will be just a box ticking exercise with little or no intention to listen to the results other than to cherry pick items that support decisions that have already made.

The schools “consultation” a few years back was a classic example where the questions were rigged in such a way that it was impossible to express and opposing view.

The letter of the law is being obeyed but not the spirit making the whole consultation process a pointless waste of taxpayer’s money.

JHVF
JHVF
10 months ago

If there is £10M available from Dept of Transport, use it to repair the roads. Some of our main routes are still in a dreadful state.

GrahamG
GrahamG
10 months ago

In principle it’s not that bad a plan but IWC can hardly be surprised the peasants are revolting if they didn’t engage them in a proper consultation in the first place. But that was the old administration’s doing I guess.

Robert Axton
Robert Axton
10 months ago

New Council? Arrogant like the old Council.

Fred
Fred
10 months ago

The only thing that needs to be done is the dedicated walkway on the pier. As for the road layout, never seen any issues before. Works well as it is.

Old Mike
Old Mike
10 months ago

Just goes to show – you can change the leopard, but the spots stay the same!

John Doe
John Doe
10 months ago

So the council state it was a critical part of the plan that the buses are routed up george street or the funding would not be released?
I find that hard to believe?
10 million as long as mostly half empty buses can turn staight up George st?
Traffic jams created and yet more traffic lights thrown up all over the seafront.
Residents patrosised by councillers for having the audacity to sign a petion questioning the high and mightys attempts to force this upon us.
I would rather they just left it as it is than waste tax payers money on a scheme most people can see is flawed.

 

Join our daily newsletter

News, Traffic & Travel Tweets