Ryde (private) School has plans to build a large inappropriate three-storey boarding house resembling a cheap hotel, on the green playing fields of the school which is in the Ryde Conservation Area. An area which the Council has highlighted as making a significant contribution to the green spaces and biodiversity value of the whole conservation area.
This eyesore would be in clear view from the Victorian Pier about which renowned architectural historian, Nicholas Pevsner has written: "Visually, the best thing about Ryde Pier is the view from it of the town. Buildings climb the slope and the skyline, still Victorian, is punctuated by church spires and the town hall turret..." as reported in 'Nooks & Corners', Private Eye 18-31st May 2018.
Should Ryde School build this 'boarding house' for 68 boarders and staff, the celebrated view from the pier will be dominated by a building which is entirely out of keeping with the area, amounting to a blot on the landscape.
Despite countless objections from Ryde residents and Ryde Town Council, the controlling majority of the IWCC forced this through with hardly any discussion or consideration for local residents.
An earlier scheme for a similar building was referred to appeal by Ryde School when Planning Permission was refused on the grounds of poor design. The recent decision by the Planning Inspector in dismissing the appeal stated:
"I conclude that the proposal would fail to preserve the character and appearance and thus the significance of the conservation area. I have found that the public benefits would not outweigh this harm, and so the proposal would conflict with policies DM2, DM11 and SP5 of the Core Strategy and the Framework. Therefore, for the reasons given above, and having regard to all other matters raised, I conclude that the appeal is dismissed."
In deciding the second application, extra councillors were in attendance to support the application and it was clear that the decision to approve the building had already been made 'behind closed doors'. An unprecedented 18 planning conditions were imposed to try and counter the lack of detail, such as access for emergency vehicles and the disabled - the suggestion being that disabled pupils travel in 'farm vehicles' (Kawasaki Mules) over the uneven ground between the school and boarding house.
We need funds to take this decision to Judicial Review. If such an unsympathetic building as this can be built in the Ryde Conservation Area, then no Conservation Area in the country is safe from despoliation. - if you care about our heritage, please help, no matter how small your donation.