An Isle of Wight archery club is aiming to shoot down plans which see its home targeted for housing development.
Home of the Wight Bowmen, Appley Field is earmarked under the Island Plan – a document outlining the government’s housing goals.
It targets the greenfield site for the construction of at least 25 homes.
Wight Bowmen Chairman, Stuart Dyer said:
“We’ve been leasing our field from the council since 1970, not only paying rent but undertaking all management works ourselves, therefore our leasehold has no drain on the public purse. We’ve already asked for an extended lease to 2050.
“In 1998 our club wanted to build further facilities on our field but planning permission was refused by the council because they would not agree to any development in a strategic green gap.”
Stuart told Isle of Wight Radio going to play isn’t just a hobby but also helps those with mental and physical disabilities.
Members fear if they lost their field, their club will have to close.
They have the backing of the Isle of Wight’s MP, who recently visited the field to hear their concerns, and receive an 80-named petition calling for the field to be removed from the Island Plan.
Bob Seely said:
“I’ll be sending the petition to the council asking them to think again about what they’re signing up to in the Island Plan and asking them to put the needs of Islanders first.”
The Isle of Wight’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing added:
“I’m sympathetic to the Wight Bowmen being able to retain the use of the land and will be asking officers to look at this site again with a view to removing it from the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment.”
While Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Business Development, Councillor Wayne Whittle, said:
“Regeneration has many strands including arts, sport and culture. We need all of these on the Island for locals to enjoy and to provide a diverse tourism offer. I favour its historic community leisure designation.”