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Local campaigners have said it is ‘highly disappointing’ to see developers ‘attempt to destroy’ farmland in Ryde in a 475-house development.

Following news last week Captiva Homes is continuing with its application to build houses, a doctor’s surgery and landscaped open spaces on land off Hope Road, Bullen Road and Appley Road, public figures have registered their continued concerns with the application.

The development, called West Acre Park, will be built on farmland which has been in operation for hundreds of years. Cllr Michael Lilley, ward representative for Ryde East and a regular campaigner against developments in the area, said the scheme would leave the farmers jobless if the application were to go through. He said:

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“I am totally opposed to this development as I was opposed to the 80 — now 86 — houses on Westridge Farm application in 2017.

“For the last three years, I have continually asked whether the intention was to build houses on the entire farm and continually not given an answer. We now know the plan is to simply destroy Ryde’s last working farm.

“This land has been farmed for hundreds of years and the present farming family have been there since 1966 and wish to continue. The tenant farmers will be jobless and, with their young children, homeless if this application goes through.

“This farm is historic to the village of Elmfield and Ryde and its loss will destroy the link with the natural environment. It will not provide affordable housing to the Ryde community.”

Cllr Lilley also had concerns about road infrastructure and the increase in traffic on 2 small roads which he said can ‘barely manage’ existing traffic. It is unclear which roads he refers to as entrances will be built on Bullen Road and Appley Road – both roads of adequate size.

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The plans for West Acre Park have not yet been submitted to the Isle of Wight Council’s planning department but Captiva said it will do so soon.

The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England on the Isle of Wight (CPRE IW) said flawed housing targets on the Island are allowing the development to happen.

Al Haig Thomas, chairman of CPRE IW, said there is a long history of local residents campaigning against the development. He said:

“It is highly disappointing to see developers now attempting to destroy what remains of one of the Island’s few remaining dairy farms, separating Ryde from Nettlestone.

“Let’s be clear – there is nothing ‘sustainable’ about lowest-common-denominator greenfield development on this scale – the Island’s undeveloped countryside is a finite resource we cannot plunder indefinitely.

“Consideration of this development is only possible because of flawed Island housing targets which serve people looking to move to the Island – not the needs or views of Islanders.

“We therefore welcome the Isle of Wight Council’s recent decision to challenge central government housing targets.

“Hopefully this can be be the first step in resetting the Island’s planning policy to serve the needs of Islanders and stop the wanton destruction of our much valued rural landscape.”

In December last year, Cllr Lilley and Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely met with more than 200 Ryde residents who voted they should oppose the development if it came forward.

Cllr Lilley and the Island Independent Group is asking for a temporary stop to planning applications at the next full council meeting on 15th July, due to people ‘not being able to fully participate in the process during the coronavirus restrictions’.

West Acre Park will be a low-density development in Elmfield and will consist of 2, 3 & 4 bedroom homes, including bungalows. It will be built in 5 phases starting in 2020.

The proposed scheme includes 25 acres of landscaped public parkland, a new GP surgery and road and access improvements. More than a third of West Acre Park will be leisure space, opening up land that was previously not accessible to the public.

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.
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Fed up

More green belt land built on for more people from the mainland to blight the isle of wight , dont these thick planning people understand the island is FULL, no room at the inn , unbelievable.

Inbred iowter

475 homes =£££council tax that’s all this council can see not islanders concerns about the impact on our island so protests are futile we all know they take no notice


cant get doctors dentist hospital appointments but they want to build houses for 2000 plus bodies not for islanders it means we will have to go the mainland for all appointments


What is the point of offering to build a doctors surgery when there are insufficient doctors to fill the current doctors surgeries?
The same applies to dentists, not enough for the current population.
Is there places in schools free to take an influx?
Are there enough beds at St Mary’s Hospital?
There doesn’t appear to be enough jobs either.
What is to become of the Green Isle?
Concrete, bricks and tarmac?


Always found it amusing that IoW Council declare there is a ‘climate emergency’, but they are also simultaneously happy with the complete destruction of the green-belt. It’s almost like money talks loudest.

Fred Nurke

Ultimately, these developments are all connected with the landowner/developer family who were responsible for pushing the development envelope on the edge of Ryde, right out to the tesco site. This was done to make it easier to develop the rest of their land as ‘infill’. Longer term, this will fill the fields right out to Bullen Road, as well as reaching Seaview. ‘Westridge Village’ will fill both sides of Smallbrook Lane, Ashey Road forming the edge of development, houses etc filling in all the farmland right back up to the tesco roundabout. They are unstoppable. The Ball’s in the developers’… Read more »


Very well put, Fred. “Democracy” (whatever that has become) doesn’t seem to rule in these cases. I love your analogy.

Fred Nurke

Sorry, that should have been ‘Busy Bee’ roundabout.


what can we do they are spoiling everything just to get a fast buck in their pockets .what do they want a revolution we dont need anymore housing the island is being made imposible to live here.Send these money grabbing companys back up north there is loads of room up there.I will get of my soap box now.


the council need reminding – we elected them, we employ them, they are public servants – if we say we do not want this development, then it doesn’t happen or they find other jobs elsewhere and we will employ the people who will implement our instructions.
Get it through your thick heads – we do not want more houses, for more people to pitch up on the island, clogging up the roads, just so you can get pay rises from the council tax.
take the hint councillors or take a P45.

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