“Disastrous”, and “bad management” are just a few of the words used by campaigners opposing the possible private sale of Ryde Harbour.

As reported by Isle of Wight Radio last month, Ryde Town Council had called on the Isle of Wight Council to see it the harbour for just £1.

Since then a delegated decision plowing forward with the plans to put the harbour on the market have been called in by Councillor Michael Lilley, meaning they will have to go before the local authority’s Scrutiny Committee before any action is taken.

The Councillor for Ryde East said:

“The people need to stand up and say this is ours and we’re going to run it.

“The first choice should be talking to Ryde Town Council, and if then Ryde Town Council feels it’s happy for it to be put out to the private sector, then okay. But they should also be part of the final decision of who that goes to, because if it becomes private the private owner can decide what goes on it – which will make it difficult for the community.”

Boat owner Janet Welsh is worried that development of the harbour could push her, and others, out. 

Janet told Isle of Wight Radio:

“Nobody has asked us.

“It would be a shame if the regulars and the visitors were priced out.”

Ryde Society’s Jonathan Dent added:

“The way it’s geared at the moment is that it’s a straight sell off and that’s disastrous.

“If someone moves in there and just lets the harbour go derelict or wants to develop it that resource is no longer there. I think everyone in Ryde needs its resources – we want to see The Esplanade as a functioning front for Ryde.”

Jonathan adds that Ryde Society’s supporting Ryde Town Council’s wish to buy the harbour for £1.