FIFTEEN months later and developers finally have the answer as to whether they can build holiday lodges on protected woodland in Bembridge — and it is not the answer they were hoping for.

Campaigners will be celebrating after the Planning Inspectorate refused to allow Love Lane IOW to build two holiday lodges on the leafy site in Bembridge.

The case had been appealed to the government's planning watchdog after the Isle of Wight Council failed to determine the application in the statutory timeframe.

Despite the appeal, the Island's planning authority still said it would have refused the application on the grounds it would harm the area's rural character; fail to provide high-quality tourism accommodation and compromise protected trees.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Issuing a decision earlier this week the Planning Inspectorate rejected the appeal for many of the same reasons the Isle of Wight Council would have.

In the decision report, an inspector said placing the development on this land would significantly diminish the rural woodland character.

Despite features in the design to limit the harm, like a timber finish and living moss roof, it was said it would not overcome the visual harm caused by the development.

Isle of Wight County Press: The proposed lodges.The proposed lodges.

The inspector also said the surrounding woodland would make the lodges 'dark and gloomy', despite the large windows, and holidaymakers would not have significant privacy due to how close the lodges were to the lane.

Ultimately they ruled the lodges would not provide a satisfactory standard of accommodation for use as holiday lets.

Isle of Wight County Press:

In the long-term, the inspector also feared the development would put pressure on surrounding trees, leading to them being removed.

Love Lane IOW can appeal the Inspectorate's decision, should they wish, to the High Court on a point of law.