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£8 million project to revamp North Quay shelved after planning refusal

Kelproperties claims decision contradicts Brownfield strategy

The company behind failed plans to redevelop the quayside in Douglas says a decision to reject its application contradicts government’s plans for Brownfield redevelopment.

Yesterday planners refused Kelproperties proposal to transform 22-28 North Quay including the former Newson’s warehouse, which it’s described as a ‘crumbling eyesore’.  

The developer had wanted to build apartments and restaurant space as part of an £8 million project called Merchant’s Place but has now put the site up for sale.

You can find out more about what was proposed HERE.

Following the decision Kelproperties told Manx Radio: “This decision by the planning committee is a direct repudiation of the government's policy to create a better and more prosperous Isle of Man while improving the environment and our town centres.

“We have spent several years trying to invest £8 million to fix this crumbling eyesore but have been unable to overcome the objections of the planners.

“This was an environmentally responsible project to rehabilitate a dilapidated brownfield site, create more homes and create more jobs, while investing in our high street to create entertainment for our community.

“People who want a vibrant Douglas town centre have lost. People who want to create good jobs have lost. People who want to enhance our environment have lost. People who want to create housing for Manx families have lost.”

Cowley Groves is now marketing the site on North Quay.

Chairman David Creane told Manx Radio's Lewis Foster that he shares the owner’s disgust:

MLC Marlene Maska, who is a member of the Tynwald Committee on Built Heritage, spoke at yesterday’s planning committee session in a personal capacity.

She told Manx Radio she believes there is still an opportunity to ‘reinvigorate’ the former Newson’s building in Douglas:

Kelproperties adds it feels the planning meeting did not have access to well-balanced information.

A spokesperson for the company added: “The engineer supporting objections was allowed to continually speak, whereas our architect was only given three minutes, and our engineer not allowed to speak at all to challenge what they were saying.

“That needs to change to give a more fair planning hearing."

Manx Radio has contacted the chair of the planning committee who has confirmed he can’t respond to comments on individual planning applications as it would conflict him for any further considerations that arise from the site. 

The Planning Committee voted three for refusal of the plans and two against.

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