Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely is supporting Whippingham residents who fear their lives and homes will be adversely affected by proposals for a new English Coastal Path.
The proposals have been outlined by Natural England as part of a drive to improve coastal access along a 101km stretch of the Isle of Wight coast.
The new route leads the coastal path inland through Whippingham Heights estate which some residents fear will reduce both privacy and security and also possibly lower the value of their homes.
Bob recently attended a meeting of Whippingham Parish Council to hear these concerns first hand.
Afterwards he said:
“I support the England Coast Path scheme in principle as it will encourage residents and visitors to enjoy the Island and its natural beauty.
“But it must also have regard to existing land and home owners and I do share residents’ concerns about the proposed route passing so close to multiple homes in Whippingham Heights.
“I want residents to be treated fairly and Natural England must listen to their genuine concerns. I will be seeking answers to these concerns from Government Ministers.”
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Whippingham Parish Clerk, Val Taylor said:
“To say residents from Whippingham Heights and the Barton estate are upset about the proposed coastal path is an understatement. Our residents consider Natural England is acting highhandedly and not listening to their genuine concerns, or even doing a proper consultation.
“Natural England appear to be acting as judge and jury and ignoring decisions they have previously made to protect SSSI’s which is totally unfair, and it goes against what is considered as natural justice.
“I would like to thank Mr Seely, on behalf of the parish council, for attending our council meeting. It was really appreciated that he had taken so much trouble to get back to the Island to be there and to hear people’s concerns. People left the meeting feeling that they had been listened to and taken seriously.”
Anyone wishing to voice their concerns about the proposals can email the South Coastal Team at [email protected].