From: Jeremy Gully, Bembridge;
Mr Thorpe’s rallying call is clear but divisive and over simplifies the situation. No one is against commercial vitality. Quite the contrary.
However, the major part of the current application is for 14 houses.
There are legitimate planning concerns about the suitability of the sites, the need for and type of properties and the impact of development.
As it stands, this application does not bind Mr and Mrs Thorpe’s companies to deliver any improvements.
Proposed houseboat plot sales would raise around £1,000,000, money that must largely be reinvested in the harbour under the terms of the Bembridge Harbour Act.
A further £1,500,000 to £2,000,000 in site values alone would be raised for the Thorpes’ separate property company.
The total £2.5 to £3 million is a large sum of money and if the Thorpes are asking for support to stretch planning rules, based on reinvestment, they must expect financial scrutiny.
Please provide proper valuations of the sites, specification and costing of improvements, and an offer of a legal commitment. Then we can make rational judgements.
Editor’s footnote: Last week’s letter from Mr Thorpe carried a headline using the words "My harbour". We would like to make it clear this was the CP’s interpretation, not Mr Thorpe’s words.