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Changes to handling of major planning applications could 'iron out conflicts'

Reform of planning system in a bid to build 'great communities'

Government is ‘actively listening’ to people on the Isle of Man in a bid to make the planning process easier.

That’s from the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture in the week which saw an £8 million plan for development of North Quay shelved after planning was refused.

Reform of the Isle of Man’s planning system was announced as one of the key priorities of this administration and was heavily featured in the Island Plan.

In order to build ‘great communities’ government set out ‘an ambitious programme of reform’ which had four overarching objectives.

Michelle Haywood is the MHK with political responsibility for the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture:

Brownfield development is a term used to describe land that has previously been used but which has become vacant, derelict, and unused – it’s the opposite of undeveloped or ‘greenfield’ land.

Injecting a new lease of life into Brownfield sites is something that this administration has put real focus on – it’s a key focus of work for the Manx Development Corporation.

Last week, at the government conference, the Northern Powerhouse Partnership was tasked with sharing its knowledge on the subject.

The partnership works to connect cities in the north of England to create economic growth and drive productivity.

Henri Murison is the chief executive and says the Island’s ‘Built Environment Reform Programme’ has potential:

One Brownfield site which looked set to be given a new lease of life was North Quay in Douglas.

However this week a planning committee rejected plans by Kelproperties to transform the area, which includes the Newson’s warehouse, into apartments and restaurant space.

The very same day Kelproperties instructed estate agents to put the site up for sale – meaning an apparent end to the £8 million redevelopment project.  

Michael Josem is a spokesperson for the company:

New introductions to the Manx planning system include a trial of a different way of overseeing major applications, a new customer charter and a performance dashboard.

Dr Haywood says she hopes they will help those looking to develop:

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