Ryde Town Council’s planning committee last night (Thursday) voted against the proposed Pennyfeathers development on the outskirts of Ryde and will now put forward a recommendation to the Isle of Wight Council that planning permission is refused for the 904 homes.
Over 100 local residents packed into Ryde Methodist Church to have their say on the controversial plans and to listen to Glen Hepburn, the developer’s planning representative.
Chair of the committee, Cllr Tim Wakeley, noted that the meeting normally only draws up to 20 people and that the large turnout was an indication as to how important the development is and how many lives it touches in the town.
Mr Hepburn throughout the meeting tackled a series of questions asked by locals and made it clear that the reasons for refusal of the previous application have now been tackled. As part of the new application, some £155,488 will be given to Natural England for the maintenance of Appley Sands under development rules – something that wasn’t previously included.
A common theme throughout the meeting was the risk of flooding, with fears that water run off will lead to greater flooding further downstream. Concerns were also raised about sewage with residents confused as to whether or not Pennyfeathers would impact them, especially those living on Great Preston Road. Reassurances were given that the pipe would be connected further downstream.
Traffic in the area was raised as another big concern, with locals saying that the development would bring extra vehicles into Ryde using roads that simply cannot cope. Glen Hepburn responded by saying that roads around the Pennyfeathers site would be enhanced, but they couldn’t simply improve every road nearby endlessly.
Responding to a question about whether the homes would be for Islanders, Mr Hepburn said that they cannot stop people moving to the Island but that Island residents would be given the opportunity to purchase the homes first.
The planning application will now go before the Isle of Wight Council Planning Committee where a decision will be made.