Image: Aria Resorts

Controversial plans to develop the Isle of Wight’s Priory Bay Hotel site have this evening (Tuesday) been approved, and “worrying” tree house proposals have been scraped.

More than 50 holiday lodges, and 12 woodland retreats are to be built on the land on the eastern edge of Nettlestone village.

Following outcry from both the public and councillors, the decision was taken to reject the tree-housing element of the plans, while approving the remainder of the proposal.

Those who opposed the ten tree houses raised concerns that they would ruin the undeveloped and natural coastline, and would emit light and noise pollution during the night.

In a passionate speeches, local residents warned that the cutting down of trees to make way for these additions would be an irreversible decision.

Christopher Legge called on councillors to “please protect the wildlife for our grandchildren”.

Replying to concerns, agent David Long argued that developer Aria Resorts would not be destroying all the wildlife, stating that it would “only be 20 trees”.

While the site will not see the building of any tree houses it will see some demolition, the removal of existing yurts, and the construction of a new gym, swimming pool, restaurant, and welcome barn.

Image: Aria Resorts

Showing his support for the development, Councillor Barry Abraham said:

“This is a massive investment for the Island, and it should be said that this is going to be a real enforcement of our regeneration policies, and how we want to see it go forward.”

Councillor Abraham, and others including Councillor Julie Jones-Evans, also claimed that the development would help to boost tourism all year round.

In a separate vote, councillors also voted in favour of the restoration of Grade II Listed aspects of the hotel.