I am writing to you on behalf of many Bembridge residents to express our dismay following the sale of a piece of woodland in Love Lane to a property developer some four months ago.

This strip of woodland, known as Love Lane Copse, has lain undisturbed for over 20 years and is a natural habitat of red squirrels, badgers and nesting birds, plus offering a tranquil place past which pedestrians, children, dog walkers, cyclists and horse riders go regularly.

Love Lane forms part of the Coastal Footpath and at high tide is the only way round that part of the coast.

It is extremely narrow and is a dead end, turning into a footpath towards Swains Lane.

How the County Press reported the issue this week.

The previous owner tried unsuccessfully to develop it twice, and on both occasions went to appeal; in 1975 and 1999.

The Secretary of State’s Planning Inspector turned it down on both occasions, for reasons which seem to most people to be as valid today as they were many years ago.

While everyone respects the right of a developer to try again, what we find difficult to accept is the disruption and inconvenience caused by his attempt to instal services such as mains electricity and mains water connection before he even has permission to develop the land.

Legally he can do so, but the road and footpath closure are causing much annoyance.

On Monday, a peaceful protest took place to demonstrate the strength of feeling and the developer called the police who spent about three hours sorting things out before the protestors left quietly.

The problem is likely to happen again on March 24 when Love Lane itself is threatened with closure for the water main connection.

This will be far more disruptives. Furthermore, there is no obvious turning point for contractors’ lorries, nor is there any parking whatever.

In the past, contractors have tried to use the driveways of Tyne Hall and East Cliff to turn, but this is no longer acceptable to us.

Love Lane Copse is protected by a Woodland Tree Preservation Order (TPO) which gives a higher degree of protection than an area TPO, but the contractor’s vehicles have left an ugly scar which must now be left undisturbed to avoid potential further damage.

Island Roads has, in its online response, pointed out access by vehicles is currently unacceptable as no turning is possible and it is illegal to reverse out into a road.

If, as we expect, the planning application is turned down, it will have caused a lot of upset and inconvenience, potential damage to the woodland, plus a waste of time for public services.

The strength of local feeling can be seen by the well-over one hundred online responses objecting to the development, including our MP who is well known for his passionate feelings about inappropriate development. Bembridge Community Facebook is also humming with concerns.

For those interested to see what is proposed you can access the planning application online using reference 21/00224/FUL. Two ‘holiday pods’ are included in the design, but sadly we have all seen creeping development.

Read more letters sent to the County Press here. Do you have a view on this or any other subject? Send us a letter to editor@iwcp.co.uk