Two major issues currently confront the people of Ryde: the proposed large-scale housing developments on the outskirts of the town, and the interchange development proposed at the bottom of Union Street, the pier and part of the Esplanade.

The housing developments at Westridge Farm and Pennyfeathers pose immediate environmental concerns. Many residents have experienced the consequences of inadequate drainage systems being unable to cope with large amounts of surface water.

To assume that such deluges experienced on July 25 and August 2 are once-in-a-lifetime events goes against scientific and meteorological understanding of shifting weather patterns. So called ‘freak storms’ are predicted to occur with increasing frequency.

Until drainage systems are in place that can cope with the huge amounts of water generated by the storms, a moratorium is needed on all future large-scale building projects.

Before permitting further development, the IW Council and Southern Water should ensure that infrastructure is fit-for-purpose and can protect existing properties.

The proposed interchange development is also of major concern. The rationale underpinning the scheme with reference to the road layout and vehicular access to the pier at the bottom of Union Street is questionable.

Since the removal of the vehicle access entry tollgate, traffic is able to get onto the pier without hindrance. Therefore, the notion that a mini-flyover is needed to access the pier in order to avoid blocking traffic flow is without validity.

It needs to be remembered that traffic using the pier is already Island traffic: Ryde is not a gateway for vehicles coming onto the Island.

For foot passengers arriving at Ryde, there is a comfortable synergy between the catamaran, the hover and the bus, rail and taxi services, which are all easily accessible.

Ryde Town Council should be ashamed it even considers closure of the public conveniences in this locality. These are the most used in Ryde.

The open air café nearby is a much-valued amenity. In the current Covid-19 dominated world such meeting places are priceless assets. We can ill-afford to concrete over any in-town green spaces.

There can be no argument regarding the need to smarten up the pier and make more use of what could be a prime leisure asset. During lockdown a stroll up the pier became a popular exercise.

In conclusion, the suggestion from a Ryde town and IW councillor that we should agree to a proposal which unnecessarily blights Ryde seafront, otherwise grant-funding will be lost, is quite frankly beyond belief.

Just who is this councillor representing? It is certainly not our Ryde!