A celebrity author and former sports broadcaster has come against plans to regenerate Ryde.
Isle of Wight Council organised a drop-in session for Ryde residents regarding regeneration plans for the town on Wednesday (September 5).
The council wanted to listen to new concerns and ideas on the regeneration draft strategy that won’t be finished until October 12.
Matthew Chatfield, communication engagement officer for the council, stressed the council wanted to hear the views of those who were “challenging”.
One resident present, whose views of the Ryde regeneration plans might be described as “challenging”, was author David Icke.
The former BBC sports presenter claimed that, “the more people who come to the Island, the more expensive services would be”.
Mr Icke said: “When will this end? When there is concrete from Ryde to Freshwater?
“People love this town. Is the plan to abuse and destroy the thing they love? And who benefits? Developers?”
The most frequent comment left by members of the public present at the meeting was concern that Smallbrook Lane would be unable to cope with the increase in traffic that would be caused by the proposed doubling in size of the industrial estate at Nicholson Road.
A number of people expressed a desire to see the reuse of boarded up retail outlets in the town, and wondered why they couldn’t be let out to new businesses at peppercorn rents.
Isle of Wight and Ryde town councillor, Wayne Whittle, declared the evening a success, “because everyone is relaxed and leaving their comments”.
Chris Ashman, council director of regeneration, stated that from previous meetings, he had learnt that the community had identified three priorities: “more green space in the urban area, the re-use of empty buildings, and a greater voice for youth in the town.”
Comments can be made here.
The plans can be viewed here.