I have lived on Puckpool Hill for nearly 70 years. My parents bought Thornton Cottage where I still live in 1953, when it was in fairly primitive state.

It was listed as Grade II in the 1970s, and while we have made several improvements to it over the years, we have always been careful to follow the inspiration of the architect, almost certainly Stephen Salter in the 1820s to 40s.

We don’t know exactly as no records exist. Naturally, I love living here.

The house is now threatened by a densely-packed housing estate on the other side of our garden fence.

This would, of course, threaten the setting of the cottage. When I was a child, the land was used as a pasture and then was bought by the council and was used for football and rugby.

At some point the council sold the land to Warners, later Harcourt Sands Holiday Camp.

When the holiday camp collapsed, one of the directors bought the whole site for a relatively small sum. As far as I know it never came onto the open market.

He is now developing 128 houses on the main Harcourt Sands site, a so-called brown-field site.

He now wants to develop the playing field as well.

For many years the playing field was used by guests of the holiday camp, but it was also widely used by local residents at other times for dog walking, blackberrying, football and golf.

Aware that development was likely, I tried to get the land listed as a Village Green, but was defeated at a hearing by a leading QC in land law. Truly a David and Goliath contest, as I am not a lawyer.

Since then, the landowner has closed the land to access by locals, and has allowed it to grow wild with brambles and the like.

Despite this, wildlife has thrived with sightings of buzzards, dormice, bats and badgers.

We are told that there is a pressing need for more houses — though details of local demand are hard to come by — but we already have Pennyfeathers, Westridge Farm and Harcourt Sands developments coming along in the area, adding a further 1,500 homes. Surely that is enough?

Puckpool Hill would coalesce the Ryde and Seaview settlements, devastate wildlife and produce much traffic congestion on a road not served by buses. Local residents are solidly against the plan.

The council's planning committee should reject this plan as deeply flawed.

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