Save Westridge Farm Campaign

by Deputy Mayor, Jenna Sabine

Save Westridge Farm Campaign

by Deputy Mayor, Jenna Sabine
Deputy Mayor, Jenna Sabine
Case Owner
Deputy Mayor of Ryde and Ward Councillor for Appley and Elmfield, Jenna is passionate about saving Westridge Farm from development to become a working community asset.
26
days to go
£14,145
pledged of £55,000 stretch target from 352 pledges
Pledge now
Deputy Mayor, Jenna Sabine
Case Owner
Deputy Mayor of Ryde and Ward Councillor for Appley and Elmfield, Jenna is passionate about saving Westridge Farm from development to become a working community asset.
Pledge now

This case is raising funds for its stretch target. Your pledge will be collected within the next 24-48 hours (and it only takes two minutes to pledge!)

Latest: Nov. 14, 2021

Save Westridge Farm Update!

Dear Pledgers!

Apologies for the long period of radio silence. The legal team at Richard Buxton solicitors have been very busy with the case but have now advised us to notify our pledgers of some good…

Read more

Who are we?

We are a group of residents who live in the historic settlement of Elmfield in Ryde, Isle of Wight who have been campaigning for many years to save the last working farm in our town on the beautiful Isle of Wight. On the 27th July 2021, IW Council Planning Committee approved a planning application to build 475 houses on 150 plus acres of green fields which have been farmed by tenant farmers for generations. This decision (which was passed controversially amidst allegations of illegality, irrationality and procedural impropriety) results in not only the loss of the livelihood and home of the farming family but the loss of a beautiful landscape for residents and visitors to the Island. 

Community Farm and Access to the Countryside

Ryde is the largest residential area on the Isle of Wight and surprisingly has a deficit of accessible green space. The farm is located near the most of the most deprived areas of food deprivation and disadvantage of the Island which has some of the lowest incomes in the South-East of England. The Ryde Foodbank is based close to the farm. Ryde Town Council has voted with huge support from the community to campaign for the green fields of the farm to be preserved in partnership with the 3 generations of tenant farmers to ensure the last farm in Ryde not only survives but a farm shop of fresh produce is developed and local children and schools can educationally regularly access the farm. 

Wider Issue in post-Covid UK and Climate Change

This approval decision has massive implications not just for the Isle of Wight but across the UK as it creates an unsafe precedent in that housing is given priority over the Human Rights of tenant farmers and local residents, climate change, food security and production and the mental and physical well-being of a community. Ryde has recently experienced some of the worst floods in hundreds of years with many impoverished residents losing everything they have. The Island which has one very basic hospital and the Island’s infrastructure (in terms of schools, other medical and public services) is on its knees already.  

The sheer financial clout of the developers and landowner in this case and in many others outweighs the financial resources of the residents and the Farmer’s family who have been traumatised having felt they have ‘lost everything’. In the context of the Covid19 pandemic this application was conveniently submitted at a time residents and the tenant farmers were isolating, providing milk for the nation, coping with lockdowns and unable to meet physically making it hard for residents to have any equality and resource to fight the application. 

Risk to Island Lifestyle, Food Production, Beauty and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

Although the Isle of Wight Council is now going through consultation for a new Island Plan in favour of building on brown field sites, there has been a huge increase in large scale housing applications on green fields such as the one on Westridge Farm and its approval creates a precedent and puts large tracts of farmland, green space and places of natural beauty, wildlife at risk. The Isle of Wight is unique in that it has UNESCO Biosphere reserve status which this planning consent contradicts. 

Why Support this Campaign?

The aim of this crowd funding campaign is to raise sufficient funds to do the following:

  1. Enable ordinary working residents to have access to lawyers to match the lawyers of the developers and landowners.

  2. A full legal case is developed and once consent is issue residents are able to have a legal team in place to apply for and go for Judicial Review.

  3. Have sufficient funds to fully support the tenant farmer fight to defend their agricultural three generational tenancy and work towards the establishment of the preferred community choice of a community farm and green educational centre.

We love Ryde and Isle of Wight – We love his untouched beautiful coastal countryside

Housing is needed on the Isle of Wight but we cannot afford to destroy working farms and our beautiful landscape and endanger climate change and wildlife habitat. If you love the wonderful natural beauty of the Isle of Wight please support our fight to save Westridge Farm and this wrong decision to approve 475 houses on 1000 year old untouched landscape. 

References and Links

save westridge farm | save westridge farm

Save Westridge Farm - Home | Facebook

Westridge Farm Archives - Isle of Wight News from OnTheWight

https://youtu.be/wI_aJEveOxo 

Petition · Save Westridge Farm · Change.org

Petition · Stop Large Scale Development on Greenfield Sites in Ryde, Isle of Wight? · Change.org 

Update 7

Deputy Mayor, Jenna Sabine

Nov. 14, 2021

Save Westridge Farm Update!

Dear Pledgers!

Apologies for the long period of radio silence. The legal team at Richard Buxton solicitors have been very busy with the case but have now advised us to notify our pledgers of some good news!

We've been told by our instructed barrister that we have both procedural and substantial grounds to judifically review the decision to grant planning for the West Acre park development

In simple terms, this means that the team at Richard Buxton have reviewed various pieces of evidence and have concluded that there are substantial grounds to challenge the decision.

In the meantime, we'll need to be patient as the case unfolds but you can expect to receive regular updates (but there may be a month or two between each update!)

All the best,

The Save Westridge Farm campaign!

Update 6

Deputy Mayor, Jenna Sabine

Sept. 22, 2021

£13,000 pledged!

We have done it!

Through sheer collective effort and impassioned generosity, we have hit our target with 11 days remaining!

This is an incredible achievement. Thank you to all those who pledged, some multiple times.

We will keep everyone updated as things progress but we can all relax knowing that further investigations are now possible, thanks to the good nature of our democracy.

Thank you Crowd Justice! Thank you people of the world!

Xxx

Update 5

Deputy Mayor, Jenna Sabine

Sept. 20, 2021

Thank you, nearly there!

We are now within just £900 of our target!

Jenna Sabine and the Save Westridge Farm team would like to thank everyone for their extremely generous pledges. You are all fantastic and this process has really highlighted how committed and passionate we are about justice in our democracy. 

With our initial target now safely within the hundreds of pounds, it looks promising that we will reach our first goal to carry out a full judicial review.

Jenna will be speaking with Isle of Wight Radio tomorrow and we expect another press release to go out Island wide (and even nationally) about this. Please continue to share with friends and families.

...and have a lovely week ahead!

Update 4

Deputy Mayor, Jenna Sabine

Sept. 15, 2021

Past the 10k way point!

We've passed the 10k point!

This means we've reached 80% of our campaign total already.

Please keep on giving as generously as you can to add further strength to the judicial review.

We just want to offer our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has pledged and shown your passion and commitment for this cause.

Thank you!!!!

Update 3

Deputy Mayor, Jenna Sabine

Sept. 11, 2021

Judicial Review: Save Westridge Farm Update

Lawyers who are already carrying out a preliminary review have advised that this is a classic example for judicial review and if awarded permission for full trial case could have significant impact for the Save Westridge Farm campaign, and potentially for other similar developments locally and nationally.

But...We've Stalled!!!

🚜 🚜 🚜

Advice from the experts at Crowd Justice have suggested that we need to keep the impetus going with the campaign for it to be successful.

Please share and give as generously as you can. If you feel passionate about this campaign then you might also consider emailing your friends and families to let them know about our plight. 

Wishing everyone a happy weekend and week ahead. Let's see if we can get to  £10,000 by the end of next week!

Read more information on our Save Westridge Farm Website: https://savewestridgefarm.org.uk/
Update 2

Deputy Mayor, Jenna Sabine

Sept. 9, 2021

Approaching £8000...within 1 week!

It is so encouraging today to be so close to £8000!
 
On average this means the campaign has raised £1000 a day. If we keep this up then we will smash through the target and be able to make an even more thorough and forensic investigation of the shenanigans that have taken place! 

We've had pledges from so many concerned Island residents and also from much further afield. 

Let's make this a landmark challenge and hope for a fairer and greener Island for future generations. Read more comments or make a pledge here:


And, as always, SHARE SHARE SHARE 
Update 1

Deputy Mayor, Jenna Sabine

Sept. 8, 2021

We've smashed the halfway mark!

Wow! In just six days of the campaign we have smashed through the halfway mark and are nearly at £7000!

Thank you so much for all of your passionate support with the campaign. 

If you have not already done so, please forward the Crowd Justice link to your family, friends and social network, letting them know that things are looking promising to secure the necessary funds, but we still need to spread the message even further afield.

Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has pledged so far to support this cause.

Xxx

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