Campaigners said Westridge Farm could face closure if plans for housing are approved
Residents on the Isle of Wight have launched a campaign to save one of the last dairy farms on the island.
Westridge Farm, in Ryde, is the last of seven farms that once existed in the area and it could face closure if the landowners are granted planning permission on the land and one of only ten dairy farms remaining on the Isle of Wight.
Local resident Harriet Jervis is helping co-ordinate the campaign.
She said: "Westridge Farm has been farmed for well over 700 years and the current tenants have been there for 50 years.
"This is a small family business, with everyone very much pulling their weight, including a grandfather of over 70 working alongside his grandchildren.
The landowners have applied for permission to build 80 homes on land currently used for pasture and hay. While there will still be land remaining for the farm, Mrs Jervis said she believes it will lead to the farm’s closure.
"They cannot throw the tenants off the farm. But it will make the farm untenable," she said.
"The whole issue is of it being another dairy which risks closure. It is not a farm which is just hanging on or teetering on the edge.
"They are desperate to stay farming."
Plans have recently been resubmitted due to concerns concerning drainage, access and parking and a bat colony.
Mrs Jervis said over 300 objections have been made about the proposal but no concerns were raised about the potential closure of the farm.
"It is not a case of not in my backyard. I completely accept you cannot stop every piece of planning," she said.
"We now have a small reprieve. Objections have to be in by November 25."