A BANNER calling for the Isle of Wight Council to stop the Ryde Interchange development has been taken down by the local town council.

Removed yesterday (Wednesday), the banner said 'save our green and public toilet' and asked for those who agreed to contact the Island's MP, Bob Seely, the cabinet member in charge of the interchange project, Cllr Phil Jordan, and Ryde councillor, John McLagan.

Ryde Town Council however says it removed the banner for safety reasons.

Scroll down to read more from the town council ... 

Isle of Wight County Press:

Reacting to the removal, Cathy Foulkes, head of the campaign to save the public open space and amenities, said it was done so by Ryde Town Council, in its 'eagerness to hide what is to be lost by our community'.

The banner was put on the public toilets at Western Gardens, next to the cafe, that are both set to be bulldozed under the proposals to improve connectivity in the area.

The signage was installed on the building around the same time Ms Foulkes's petition, which sought to put the scheme through planning, was rejected by the Isle of Wight Council.

More than 2,500 people signed the petition and it was backed by five councillors, although 26 voted against it.

Speaking at the meeting where councillors voted down the petition, Cllr Vanessa Churchman called the scheme sheer vandalism to destroy the area.

She said she had never had a problem with traffic in the area and could not see any need for altering the road layout.

Justifying the removal of the banner, Ryde Town Council said staff took it down as its placement breached many regulations.

Isle of Wight County Press:

It said planning permission was needed from the local authority to display a banner of that size, as well as permission of the building's owner.

The toilets are leased by Ryde Town Council who said no permission had been sought from them.

A spokesperson for the town council said: "As the banner was sited on an exposed site, we have to consider our obligation to ensure our buildings are safe for public use.

"As we are unsure who erected the banner and the methods they used to secure it, the decision was made to remove it."

The next step for the Ryde Interchange project will be for the Isle of Wight Council cabinet to approve the scheme at its meeting next week.