From Catharine Williams, Bembridge:

I read Bembridge had been shortlisted for The BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards 2019, which is indeed a huge honour that will put Bembridge right on the map (CP, 18-01-19).

Only five villages nationally have made it onto this shortlist. Particularly praised was its “beautiful coastal setting and the lifeboat station” and this was born out by a stunning photo of the lifeboat station and Lane End Beach taken by Sienna Anderson.

What was not shown, however, was how this area now looks in the opposite direction, right next to the indoor lifeboat station building (see above). Astonishingly our iconic beach cafe (which included a large tea garden, beach shop and ice cream kiosk) has been demolished to make way for one enormous residence.

This is not the place to go into details, and the planning applications’ history can all be found on the IW planning portal, but I, reluctantly, will not feel able to vote for my own village.

I wonder if the Countryfile judges were aware of this development and the demise of this cafe and erstwhile magnet for hundreds and hundreds of visitors each year?