Isle of Wight development stalled by concern for impact on birds


A controversial planning application for 473 houses on the Isle of Wight has been paused due to concerns over the impact on the local birdlife.

The land earmarked for development by Captiva Homes has been farmed by tenant farmers The Hollidays for over half a century.

The planning application was due to appear before the Isle of Wight's Planning Committee again on 20 December after concerns raised by Natural England regarding the impact of the new homes on feeding areas for Eurasian Curlew and Dark-bellied Brent Goose. However, the meeting has now been cancelled.

Natural England raised concerns that the development impact habitat supporting feeding Dark-bellied Brent Geese (Anthony Bentley).

Councillor Michael Lilley, who has supported the campaign to save Westridge Farm, said that Captiva Homes is still in talks with Natural England.

Natural England said the council "had not had due regard to the impact the proposed development might have on supporting habitat, as identified in the Solent Waders and Brent Geese Strategy."

The July 2021 meeting resulted in a flurry of legal letters to the Isle of Wight Council. A Crowdjustice campaign was launched to fund a Judicial Review of the decision made at the meeting. The current stalemate means that, with planning consent pending again, lawyers cannot proceed with a Judicial Review to challenge the approval of the development.

In recommending the application be recalled to the planning committee, local ward councillors said that Natural England's updated submission added "further evidence that residents' objections around the serious loss of supporting habitat for Eurasian Curlews and Brent Geese (which are protected species), were absolutely correct."