Property developers Captiva Homes have announced plans for up to 465 homes, new community facilities and a public open space in Ryde to be known as West Acre Park. It is planned that construction will take part in five phases, beginning next year.
The proposed scheme includes 25 acres of landscaped public parkland, a new GP surgery and road and access improvements. The company says that only one existing tree will need to be felled, with many more to be planted and the scheme will see £1.6m invested into the area for local schools and other educational facilities. Of the proposed homes, 163 will be affordable homes specifically built for the benefit of local residents.
Captiva Homes is owned by Island residents James Pink and Justin Gentleman. James said: “This stunning part of the UK that we’re lucky enough to call home is unique, with a culture and community of its own. That’s special, and something we’re very proud of.
“The land in this location has been identified as suitable for residential development and the team at Captiva Homes, as local people, felt a commitment to exploring this opportunity to ensure maximum protection and responsible development of the land by Islanders who care about our community.”
Justin added: “Creating communities of homes, working to superb standards of design and build, and with a close eye on the essence of the Isle of Wight – its landscape, its environment and its people – is our aim. We make excellence our benchmark in everything we do, and we look forward to sharing our exciting plans for West Acre Park with the Island community.”
However, the proposals are controversial, Ian Wellby, trustee of the Isle of Wight Campaign for the Protection of Rural England said: “There is a long history of local residents campaigning against the development of the greenfields of Westridge Farm. Eighty homes were initially rejected by the planning committee, but ultimately pushed through in 2017 against huge local opposition. It is highly disappointing to see developers now attempting to completely destroy what remains of one of the Island’s few remaining dairy farms, separating Ryde from Nettlestone.
“Let’s be clear, there is nothing “sustainable” about lowest-common-denominator greenfield development on this scale, the Island’s undeveloped countryside is a finite resource we cannot vandalise and plunder indefinitely. Consideration of this development is only possible because of flawed Island housing targets which serve people looking to move to the Island, not the needs or views of Islanders. We therefore welcome the Isle of Wight Council’s recent decision to challenge government housing targets. Hopefully this can be the first step in resetting the Island’s planning policy to serve the needs of Islanders and stop the wanton destruction of our much valued rural landscape.”
Captiva Homes are holding two public open days for residents to view the scheme. Thursday, October 10 from 10.30am to 2pm at St John’s Church, High Park Road and
Friday, October 11 from 6pm to 8.30pm at Oakfield Primary School, Appley Road.
The proposals can also be viewed at westacrepark.co.uk