Plans for two holiday lodges bite the dust

By IW May 28, 2022

Campaigners in Bembridge were celebrating last week after the Planning Inspectorate turned down an application to build two holiday lodges in protected woodland on Love Lane.

Love Lane IOW Ltd appealed to the government’s planning body after the Isle of Wight Council failed to determine their planning application within statutory time limits.

Following a site visit undertaken on May 4, the planning inspector decided that the application should be refused. In her report she said that the proposals would ‘significantly diminish’ the woodland character of the site and that the lodges would be ‘dark and gloomy’, due to surrounding protected trees. She considered this would lead to pressure for the trees to be cut back or removed.

Local residents had mounted a campaign against the plans, which the applicants planning agents, Plan Research, said had led to the police being called eight times to deal with protests and allegations of criminal behaviour and Covid regulations being breached.

The appeal document also said that ‘intimidation of people associated with the scheme might be a factor in the council’s unwillingness to reach a decision within statutory timescales.’

Local IW councillor, Joe Robertson, said he was ‘delighted’ with the Planning Inspectorate’s decision. He said: “The accusations of local mass hysteria by the applicant were unfair and wrong. The inspectorate agreed with the council and over 300 residents who objected: the development would harm the rural character, threaten trees and not provide a satisfactory standard of accommodation.

“I would like to sincerely thank residents and local campaigners for all their support in resisting this poorly conceived application.”