BEMBRIDGE residents have been mobilising over Christmas to oppose a planning application for 57 new homes on the outskirts of the village.

An application by Thornwood Estates has been made on a field currently outside the village settlement boundary but was recently included in a draft version of the forthcoming Island Planning Strategy.

The field is adjacent to Steyne Road and Hillway Road, and the 57 homes would be in addition to the nine houses already granted permission.

Residents say a separate application on adjacent land is anticipated in 2022 which could see the total new homes for Bembridge rise to 180.

A group of local residents have set up a new not-for-profit community interest group, Build a Better Bembridge, with a stated aim of safeguarding the way of life of the local community.

Together with Isle of Wight Councillor Joe Robertson, who represents the village, Build a Better Bembridge is supporting those who wish to register their comments and objections to the application.

They have set up a website, and Facebook page.

Cllr Robertson said the period for public comments fell over the Christmas period, with a deadline of January 12.

He is keen for people to register their views on the council's planning portal.

He said: “I am opposed to building on this land and expanding the settlement boundary towards Bembridge airport and National Trust land.

"The village has suffered major flooding in 2021 including on both roads bordering this field.

"Some existing properties have been flooded and residents have had to move out of their homes while repairs are made.

"Southern Water has also been discharging drainage water including sewage water into the sea.

"Whether it be 57 new homes or 180, the village cannot cope with the existing pressures, let alone more houses."

Register your views on the council's planning portal at under application 21/01884/FUL.

Those without internet can ask the parish council for a copy of the application and can write to the council by post.

Ben Wood, of Build a Better Bembridge, said: “We are not anti-development, in fact we applaud our village parish council’s responsible Neighbourhood Development Plan which has seen infill and affordable homes constructed in our community.

"But fundamentally our village has outgrown our infrastructure — with traffic backing up, drains and sewage polluting our beaches and coastline, plus our village lacks a GP surgery, local employment and transport links.

"Our village simply cannot handle this development, and certainly not on our precious greenfield land which sustains our tourism economy.”

Cllr Robertson added: “Bembridge residents are well informed and have an excellent track record of mobilising to object to inappropriate greenfield development.

"The council should show more ambition by bringing forward brownfield sites like the old Camp Hill prison site to meet the Island’s future housing needs.”

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