LETTERS From Anne Grant, Fareham:
AS a Ryde child of the 50s, I spent many happy hours playing in Puckpool Park.
Neighbouring Harcourt Sands holiday campers mingled freely and happily with locals, using Puckpool’s tennis courts, bowling greens, golf links and open space.
Last week ZeroC’s public consultation about Harcourt’s redevelopment included this worrying, indeed ominous, statement — "the challenge of Puckpool Park next door, and the seafront 'bridge’ into Ryde and Seaview." What 'challenge’ might this be?
ZeroC revealed plans to build 100-150 homes (phase one), some at sea level being three-storey. Phase two is 200 to 250 homes, 400 in total. ZeroC admitted these won’t be affordable homes. A possible new hotel will only be built if someone else pays for it, e.g. a hotel chain.
Asked about the 'challenge’, ZeroC stated a need to re-site Puckpool’s car parks. Eh?
They plan to re-route footpath access between Appley Park and Puckpool, into Harcourt. Pardon?
Will this new footpath cross Appley golf links, erased recently by IW Council perhaps? Thus enabling the seafront 'bridge’ into Puckpool to be closed off?
ZeroC is requesting tourist board money to renovate Puckpool’s historic battery, for tourism. What?
Puckpool is a publicly owned council park, much loved, with free access for everyone, not private land to incorporate into ZeroC’s multi-million pound property deal.
Can we now make an educated guess at who bought Puckpool Gatehouse from the IW Council? Are people to conclude the IW Council has done a deal with ZeroC, giving it Puckpool?
Will Ryde residents see Puckpool and Appley Park go the same way as Ventnor Botanic Garden? That garden, previously free to enter and publicly owned, is now privately owned, charging £5 per person, £12 per family to enter. The council got away with that, without Islanders rising up.
Visualise the likely final solution: Puckpool, Appley, Harcourt (and possibly the neighbouring stables and fields?) may become one gated, exclusive community.
ZeroC claims its development is good for tourism but admits its properties might all become second-home ownership.
The Island already has thousands of second homes (e.g. Seaview), yet the Island’s tourism trade is still in decline. So that argument doesn’t stack up. Meanwhile, Ryde residents might lose two treasured parks.
Will anyone fight this?