OWNERS of Ryde Arena were described as ‘utterly wretched' and 'white collar bully boys’ in Parliament today, by Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely.

He said the current planning system is currently weighed too heavily in favour of developers, in a debate on affordable and safe housing for all.

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He gave AEW as an 'unfortunate' example.

He described them as 'a multi billion pound property firm' who bought Ryde Arena then fell out with the local community group that used the ice rink facility there.

He said: "They kicked them out and finished skating on the Island. The kids have had to go to the mainland."

He continued: "When you ask them (AEW) to do something about it, they boast about their exceptionally expensive lawyers. Part boast, part legal intimidation of the IW Council and presumably me."

He said he worried that a possible future change in the laws would make the situation even worse, and said he favoured improving the current situation rather than scrapping it.

"On principle, we need a planning agenda that is community-led, levelling up-led, flexible, thoughtful and environmental. If the planning bill is about those values, I will support it; those values are good Conservative aims and I recommend them to Ministers and their special advisers.

"However, I have a couple of caveats. I do not believe that Ministers have made the case for why we need to scrap the current system rather than reform it. We are better off improving what we have."

He outlined his suggestions for improving prospects for people owning their own homes and said he didn't want to see more low-density greenfield sites developed.

Robbie Jones, one of the directors of Wight Ice Leisure, is campaigning to re-eastablish an ice sports facility.

He told the County Press: "Our Island MP Bob Seely’s speech in Parliament this afternoon has given our campaign a fresh burst of energy.

"His anger and frustration at the impasse over Ryde Arena is palpable and we appreciate this clear demonstration of his support.

"It has been a long four years without an ice rink on the Island and with skaters still travelling and competing in mainland rinks.

"We continue to campaign to re-establish an ice sports facility on the Island and ensure Ryde Arena continues to be a leisure facility for Islanders and visitors to enjoy."