VILLAGERS sick of the sight of a ruined former Isle of Wight public house were given some encouragement a planning impasse on homes being built there has been solved.

Record numbers attended Wroxall Parish Council's monthly meeting at Stenbury Hall on Monday to hear what Paul Fuller, the Isle of Wight Council's cabinet member for planning, had to say on The Worsley planning application.

Revised plans from EBCS Limited to demolish the former public house, to make way for six new homes, an access road and parking, were submitted in 2019.


EBCS have two directors — Edward and Gail Earnshaw, of Middle Barn Lane, Wroxall. Mr Earnshaw is a builder.

But a barrier to the plans — and the decade-old planning application it supercedes — was Natural England's objection environmentally damaging chemicals from the site were entering the local water course, which had not been mitigated against. 

Isle of Wight County Press: Stenbury Hall, which hosted Wroxall Parish Council's monthly meeting on Monday.Stenbury Hall, which hosted Wroxall Parish Council's monthly meeting on Monday. (Image: Jon Moreno)

However, since the dilapidated Worsley had sparked a 350-plus signature petition, featured in last week's County Press, Cllr Fuller acted quickly to become the bringer of positive news. 

He said Natural England no longer objected and hoped the application would soon be rubber-stamped soon.

"The sticking point was Natural England's concerns about the three key baddies (nitrates, phosphates and nitrites) making their way into the water course," he said.

"It is in everyone's interests in Wroxall work starts as soon as possible.

"I said, about eight years ago, we'd have problems with The Worsley, so I'm really pleased issues have been overcome." 

Cllr Fuller, on the planning committee which approved The Worsley's original application a decade ago, added: "Natural England are overwhelmed by the amount of work they do, but ten years is a long time."

Once approval has been granted, hoardings on a building must be erected immediately — a point Island councillor for Wroxall, Rodney Downer, stressed to planners recently.

Echoing his sentiments, one woman described The Worsley as "an absolute eyesore" and "a disgrace", complaining the building's windows had been smashed, the site was dangerous to children and there were rats.

Isle of Wight County Press: The derelict Worsley public house in Wroxall.The derelict Worsley public house in Wroxall. (Image: Jon Moreno)

Cllr Fuller suggested the parish council contacted environmental health to sort the vermin issue.

However, parish clerk, Jackie Gallop, blamed any vermin issue on householders with bird feeders in their gardens, as the Worsley site "has no food source". 

"The sooner it's developed and got houses built with people living in them, the sooner the problem will go away," Cllr Fuller said. 

He was also pressed on what could happen if work did not start on the site, following approval.

"It's down to the applicant when he starts. They'll have three years to start it. But if they don't, a new application could be made."