The document, referred to as an Outline Position Statement, was approved by the Council’s Planning Committee on 11th September and has been recommended for adoption at the next Full Council meeting on 1st October.
The Position Statement is designed to influence 2 Isle of Wight Council policy documents: the Draft Regeneration Strategy, which was published in July and the new Island Planning Strategy which is replacing the current planning policy, the Island Plan (also known as the Core Strategy).
Councillor Jim Moody, Chair of the Planning Committee and the working group which oversaw the development of the Position Statement said:
“This is a hard-hitting document, which clearly states what sort of development we want – and don’t want – in the town. Ryde’s needs have been ignored for too long. It is time our voice was heard.
“Ryde has been sorely neglected for years and the Outline Position Statement is intended to remedy this for the benefit of Ryde’s population.”
“This Position Statement is one of Ryde Town Council’s most important initiatives. We have produced an Outline version in the first instance so that Ryde’s people can mould it and make it their own through written and verbal contributions.”
The Position Statement argues, among other things, that:
• No new sites for housing development should be designated just to meet the housing need in Ryde because proposed development on existing sites (i.e. those for which planning permission has been granted or are still under consideration) already meet the town’s future housing need to 2034.
• More effort should be made to provide affordable housing on existing designated sites, including housing to rent as well as to buy.
• New housing developments must not go ahead without the provision of additional infrastructure and financial contributions from the developers, in addition these contributions must be used to provide infrastructure in Ryde, not in other parts of the Island.
• The Esplanade should continue to be used solely for leisure and recreational purposes. There should be no residential or inappropriate commercial development in the area.
• Two projects are key to any future development of the Esplanade: Improvements in the transport interchange at the foot of the pier and appropriate development of the Arena area.
• The proposed scheme to extend the pedestrianisation of the High Street, which was initiated by Ryde Town Council and will be implemented by Island Roads, should be undertaken as a matter of urgency. Ryde Town Council has already set aside funds to improve the appearance of the area once the initial work has been started.
• In order to create more, better paid jobs, there is a need to develop and promote not only the Nicholson Road industrial site but also other industrial areas in the town.
• In order to preserve the town’s valuable architectural heritage, planning regulations should be more strictly enforced, especially in the two Conservation Areas.
The Position Statement, which is based primarily on existing information taken from previous regeneration studies, the Draft Ryde Area Action Plan and previous consultations is a working document. It will be revised and expanded as more information becomes available. It is now open for public consultation and the Council welcomes comments and suggestions from any individual or organisation with an interest in the town.
Councillor Diana Conyers, Vice Chair of the Planning Committee, said:
“I urge Ryde residents to read the Position Statement, which is available on the Ryde Town Council website, and give us your views. As councillors, we are here to represent the town’s interests and ensure that your voices are heard.”
To look at the Position Paper and find out how to give your views, go to https://www.rydetowncouncil.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/18092018-Position-Statement-.pdf.
Send your suggestions and comments on the contents to RTC at [email protected].