An Island councillor, who has bitterly opposed a planning application for 27 additional holiday lodges at Carter’s Paddock near Ryde, says the decision should be shelved until an investigation has concluded into whether people are living permanently in a lodge already on site. There are currently 76 lodges, and the new application is to extend the park, taking the number to 103.
Vanessa Churchman told the IW Observer that she has been told by council officers of a current investigation into one lodge, apparently being lived in permanently, and is aware that some local people believe a number of other people may be living permanently on the site, which breaks the holiday park’s licence conditions.
She said: “I am totally opposed to this development, on what is essentially a greenfield site. I have called for it to go to committee; if it was residential housing it certainly wouldn’t be permitted. This looks like it may become a residential development by the back door and then, if we enforce the conditions, the council may have to pay to rehouse the people. It’s happened before.
“We shouldn’t even be thinking about allowing more lodges until we know whether the current rules are being followed. They are licensed as holiday lodges which can be used 52 weeks of the year; that doesn’t mean people can live in them.”
“We are fighting this sort of thing across the Island. When I first became a councillor I asked about it and found out that records are not checked see if the rules are being enforced. It simply isn’t good enough.”
Her neighbour, Lynne Kemmish, says that people have been told they are able to live on the site permanently without paying any council tax, and has opposed the application on the grounds that the lodges would look directly over her land, affecting her family and her animals, including alpacas, horses and sheep. She said: “There is a total disregard for the rules and for the local wildlife. Already the Carter’s Paddock entrance is being used in way that they do not have permission for. There are lights everywhere and rubbish is being blown into my paddocks. The plans now allow for up to 206 cars on site and, of course, there are delivery vans etc, but because of the relative position of the land even one car causes terrible fumes, dust and light pollution. I will have to move my animals if this goes through.”