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Chance for new MP to stand on right side

Friday, July 14, 2017 - 11:30

From Jane Mills, Luccombe:
I read with interest MP Bob Seely’s maiden speech setting out his vision for the Island.

Whether you agree with his Utopia or not, it is essential those in power articulate what they believe as it is against these aspirations that they can be judged.
His speech was also very timely in that the Island appears to be very much at a crossroads. As a community, we need to decide what sort of an Island we want and nowhere is that choice starker than in the unlikely setting of Briddlesford Road.
Here, within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, we have a skirmish in which Robin Hill finds itself pitted against its noisy neighbour Westridge Waste.
It is a classic confrontation: order against disorder, planned versus the unplanned, suitable development against the unsuitable.
It seems inconceivable that a successful established attraction like Robin Hill could have its latest proposal for eco-lodges threatened by unapproved and apparently unfettered adjacent development. How is it that a waste plant on an industrial scale has been allowed to fester across the protected landscape in such an uncontrolled and inappropriate fashion?
Indeed, the IW Council has a defining planning issue to determine in respect of Westridge Waste as the application embodies other existential considerations.
Do we want to support a business that has developed innovative proposals in consultation with the relevant authorities and in accordance with due planning process or are we going to allow these to be scuppered by a neighbouring operation that has not?
Do we want to encourage sustainable tourism for an ever more discerning visitor or do we favour conflicting development (in this case turning this wider area into a giant landfill site)? Do we think the Island’s natural heritage is worth protecting?
Quite literally, this application represents a tipping point for the Island. I hope planners exercise their judgment accordingly.

 


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