LETTERS From Sue Birch (Chair, Brading Residents’ Action Group), Quay Lane, Brading:
COUNCILS wonder why the turnout at elections is poor and areas suffer from apathy.
Well no wonder, following the recent planning approval for housing on the Brading Experience site, some residents feel there is a sad lack of high calibre personnel making important decisions on affairs which affect our lives. Trust is lost, so apathy reigns.
This application provoked more than 400 comments but the views of the majority of those submissions were totally ignored by the IW Council planning committee and Brading Town Council.
Members of Brading Residents’ Action Group have contacted me, questioning why they even bothered to submit comments, as it’s a total waste of time. Whether it’s at county level or more locally, residents’ views are totally ignored.
The planning committee meeting at County Hall was a disgrace; members hearing the application appeared to know very little about it. This was evident by the quality of questions raised. The committee ignored a suggestion made by the chairman, Cllr Hollis, to consider splitting the application. Cllr Hollis appeared to be the only person who understood this application and the implications, if approved.
We seriously believe they just trusted in the recommendation by planning officers that it should be approved. Did any members hearing the case take time to look at the comments submitted, or study the plans?
Initially, the plans were badly presented, especially when viewed online. They were not made clear until a few weeks before the case was heard! Residents were confused by the way the revised, re-advertised plans were presented and advertised, but finally they were amended. Those given the opportunity to re-submi, had lost heart but it was stated any previous comments made would still be taken into consideration.
This saga had been drawn out over two-and-a-half years, with the site becoming an eyesore.
Sadly, approving this application has now taken away any chance of regeneration.
Jobs are more important to Brading than housing. The approved application will bring very few jobs in comparison to retention of a commercial site.
It is hoped the approved antiques/craft centre, shop and cafe will entice visitors to stop, but how much better it would have been to have had the whole site turned into a craft village or similar, to entice coaches to stop.
I would like to say Brading RIP but with the future chaos of demolition, construction and auction traffic presenting at the Quay Lane junction, I think it will be far from that. Highways do not recognise this to be a problem, because there have been no fatalities or serious injuries recorded and you have to have four to qualify. Let’s hope they are not proved wrong!