A PEACEFUL protest took place in a leafy Bembridge lane earlier this week as residents object to holiday lodges on protected woodland.

Protestors feel utility works being done to prepare the site are premature as no planning permission has been granted.

Plans have been submitted to the Isle of Wight Council for two one-bed holiday lodges on woodland off of Love Lane, in Bembridge.

The company behind the application, Love Lane IOW, say the lodges which have been designed to fit in with the woodland setting, clad in timber and with living moss roofs, would appeal to couple on a walking holiday.

Isle of Wight County Press: The proposed lodges.The proposed lodges.

Planning agent, Martha James, said in documents the site had fallen into neglect and needed gentle management for the woodland to be sustainable in the future.

Permission has been granted to remove and replace six 'dead' trees.

This was needed as the site has been given a woodland protection order. According to residents, they have so far been removed but not replaced.

On Monday, protestors gathered at the site to object to work being done on the site pre-emptively. Police were called to the gathering, of about 20 people, by the landowners.

Isle of Wight County Press:

One of the protestors, former Island high sheriff, Peter Grimaldi, who lives on Love Lane, said the developers were causing chaos before planning permission has been granted

While the work can legally go ahead, Mr Grimaldi said residents are concerned about the effect this will have on the woodland in the future should planning permission not be given.

He said:

"What we find difficult to accept is the disruption and inconvenience the closure of the road and footpath cause."

Further work was done on the site yesterday (Tuesday) when engineers re-installed electric boxes, after they had to be removed from someone else's property, and later in the month a water main is scheduled to be installed.

Isle of Wight County Press:

So far 110 objections to the lodges have been submitted by residents.

The Island's MP Bob Seely said he found it outrageous anyone would even think about building on woodland and it should be left well alone.

At a meeting of Bembridge Parish Council's planning committee yesterday, councillors unanimously agreed to strongly object as it went against 11 policies in the Bembridge Neighbourhood Development plan.

Chair of the planning committee, Cllr Marianne Sullivan said: "We are going to have to concern ourselves with climate change now and very urgently in the immediate future — why on earth would we think this was be a good idea. I hate this scheme."

Isle of Wight County Press: An entrance to the area which residents are not happy with.An entrance to the area which residents are not happy with.

IW councillor Michael Murwill is also objecting and said the woodland was a key natural place of beauty and he hoped planning officers would make the right decision.

In a preliminary ecological appraisal, surveyors said without any mitigating measures the development would have an adverse effect to the woodland's wildlife - birds, badgers, bats, dormice, hedgehogs and red squirrels.

Applications had previously been submitted by the former owner of the land, both times failing to get permission and then failing to overturn the decision by the Planning Inspectorate.

To view, or comment on the application, 21/00224/FUL, via the Isle of Wight Council's planning register.

Comments can be made until March 19.