PLANNERS for the controversial Pennyfeathers development in Ryde have said they aim to submit the main application, for more than 900 houses, next month.

This comes after calls from the Mayor of Ryde, Michael Lilley, for the developers to let the planning application lapse so they can listen to the people of Ryde and find out what their housing needs are, as it seems the work is 'stalling'.

Outline planning permission was granted in September 2017 and the company behind Pennyfeathers have got three years to submit further details for approval — which runs out in less than three months.

Two applications have recently been submitted to change the wording of three conditions which planners have said will allow things to run smoothly going forward as the application 'will be made' by the deadline.

Glen Hepburn, who runs Hepburns Planning Consultancy with his wife Cathy, said: "Three years is the law - we cannot change it. The reason the government give three years is because they feel it is the right amount of time to make the application.

Isle of Wight County Press:

"This is not a standard application for two or three houses - it is a big undertaking where lots of bases have to be covered.

"The reason for the variation condition applications is to try and make sure that when we put the major application in there are things to support it and everything is lined up so we can actually start building.

"What we don't want to do is put in a planning application, for it to get planning permission and we have to go back and try and vary different conditions — it is nothing more and nothing less than that."

Hepburns hope to submit the reserved matters application next month but have left a month of slippage if they haven't got a choice.

Responding to criticism, Mr Hepburn said Cllr Lilley had chosen a certain role in the proceedings of the development and can put 'whatever spin he wants on things'.

He said: "We will ultimately just deal with facts, people make judgements on that. I anticipate [Cllr Lilley] will come from one angle and the people who have been informed will come from a more agreeable angle to us."

Despite a notice on their website they are closing, with no more information, Mr Hepburn said the couple are only retiring, but are completing contracts, carrying on with the Pennyfeathers application and may continue providing services to any long-standing clients.

Isle of Wight County Press:

A further application (20/00855/FUL) has been made in relation to Pennyfeathers — to improve the junction at Westbridge Cross incorporating land from the houses, bought by Pennyfeathers Property Company, on Malborough Road.

Changes to the junction would see a new left-hand turn lane added to Great Preston Road, filtering traffic onto Marlborough Road, and changing the position of footways around the junction.