AN 'ORCHESTRATED' campaign against holiday lodges on protected woodland in Bembridge has seen the police called eight times to a peaceful lane.

Love Lane IOW Ltd is protesting the Isle of Wight Council's lack of decision on the application, for two holiday units on the lane, to government and have since laid out their case.

Planning agents, Plan Research, says the council failed to determine the application within an appropriate period, typically eight weeks.

No official decision had been made by the Isle of Wight Council, 17 weeks after the application was first validated.

This and other reasons has led to an appeal to the government's Planning Inspectorate.

In an appeal statement, Plan Research's Martha James said the appeal was not made lightly, with developers giving the council significant opportunity to determine the application.

The statement went on to say planning officers were being put in a very difficult position, due to undue political and neighbourhood pressure to refuse the application.

Mrs James said there had been a disproportionate number of objections with police had been called multiple times to the site.

Incidents recorded included picketing on site stopping companies from carrying out work, anti-social behaviour, signs taken down, superglued locks and criminal damage when a hole was drilled through a water pipe.

Communication issues were also being raised by the agent, who said: "It is impossible ... to know whether the council considers previous concerns have been addressed.

"The complete lack of engagement by the council with our client and the professionals refining the proposal, and the significant delay in determining the application, without extensions being agreed, is unacceptable."

The Isle of Wight Council's planning authority has seen a significant rise in work since the start of the pandemic, with more applications submitted, and has recently announced extra staff will be hired to help combat delays.

The appeal was officially started earlier this month.

The Planning Inspectorate itself is seeing an increase in work, with the average time this type of appeal taking currently standing at 31 weeks.

Latest statistics from the government’s planning watchdog, published last week, show they have nearly 13,000 open cases — issuing an average of just over 1,400 decisions a month.