West Acre Park Planning Approval has now been given consent!

Destruction of ancient farmland and ecological habitat Westridge Farm by West Acre Park development 2021

Westridge Farm’s future: Council greenlights 472 homes, residents to seek judicial review (updated) (onthewight.com)

IW Council sent out the consent dated the 4th August 2023. The permission letter is to Westridge Village Ltd which is the legally contracted body with IW Council Local Planning Authority. See WESTRIDGE VILLAGE LIMITED overview – Find and update company information – GOV.UK (company-information.service.gov.uk) for further information. Westridge Village Ltd directors are Ian Delaney, James Pink and Victoria Pink. The registered and correspondence address is 37 Commercial Road, Poole, Dorset, United Kingdom, BH14 0HU.

20_01061_FUL-DECISION_NOTICE_APPROVAL-3284910.pdf (iow.gov.uk) – Click on to see the full approval.

Residents’ lawyers now have 6 weeks from the 4th August 2023 to lodge an application for Judicial Review to a judge. An application for JR has to be made by 15th September 2023.

See: Judicial Reviews (iow.gov.uk)

See: Save Westridge Farm Campaign (crowdjustice.com)

The decision letter states the following:

In pursuance of its powers under the abovementioned Act, the Isle of Wight Council as Local Planning
Authority hereby give notice of the decision made on 25.04.2023 to GRANT Planning Permission in
accordance with the application, plans and particulars submitted and subject to compliance with the
following conditions:

If residents do not lodge/make an application for JR by 15th September 2023, they will not have an opportunity to challenge the decision further and the development will proceed. If they do a Judge grants permission for JR then the development will be on hold until a final decision is made by the courts. This could take significant time; but it has to be noted that residents through the crowdfunding site ( https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/save-westridge-farm/) need to have raised the finance needed to employ solicitors and barristers to fight their case.

I must state that issuing the decision on a Friday during Summer holidays is unfair as it puts pressure on residents as many are away including the professionals needed to support them in taking this to Judicial Review. This has been the way IW Council planning department and developer have operated throughout the process. Make announcements during Covid19, Lockdowns, at Christmas and other holiday periods. A strategy in my view to weaken any challenge.

If the development was not successfully challenged, it has to be noted the developer will have to meet conditions as outlined in the permission letter dated 4th August 2023 and I list some of these as follows (for full conditions see link to consent letter above) so residents are aware and so they can raise questions and challenge if necessary at each phase of development subject to it going ahead.

  1. A Section 106 Legal Agreement has to be signed by all landowners and developers.
  2. The development has to start within 3 years from the 4th August 2023 (date of permission).
  3. Prior to commencement of the development an approved phasing plan (s) shall be submitted outlining the delivery phasing for the highway works, the building, open spaces and the SANG. Development shall thereafter be undertaken with the agreed details. This is a pre-commencement condition as it would control the delivery elements of the scheme.
  4. Prior to commencement of the approved development details and designs of any construction access shall be submitted and approved by the Local Planning Authority with a delivery and decommissioning programme. Development shall be carried out in accordance with the approved details.
  5. Not withstanding the requirements of the recommended Highways phasing plan and construction access arrangements, detailed design of each specific junction shall be submitted to and approved by the LPA prior to commencement of the development hereby approved which includes Appley Road and Bullen Road access arrangements.
  6. Prior to the commencement of the development a construction environment management plan shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the LPA including details regarding dormice, bats, curlew.

In the event the development did proceed I would be as your elected representative be asking questions and challenging each stage to make sure everything was properly carried out.

As the proposed first phase is on Appley field and is the proposed GP surgery I will want to see full proposals by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board. I have challenged this aspect already as I am not convinced this element has gone through proper process. I am also very concerned about the road issues on Appley Road. I am already challenging the development’s highway plan with Island Roads/Highways as personally I feel it is undeliverable. The development was particularly reliant on the Pennyfeathers development going ahead as this included the widening and improvement of roads and Westridge Cross Junction. As Pennyfeathers has now been refused and its outline planning permission now out of date unless the applicant appeals by end of October 2023, the West Acre Park development will not have a road scheme in east of Ryde to piggy back on.

There are so many unanswered questions regarding WAP and I do reaffirm my personal view that the best course of action at this time is Judicial Review.

Please see my statement on: Save Westridge Farm Land Campaign – Update! | Michael Lilley

I will keep residents posted of any developments.

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