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IoM Enterprises against development ‘at any cost’ after appealing eGaming HQ plans

Appeal hearing due to take place on Tuesday

The company which is attempting to block plans for a new eGaming headquarters in Douglas says it doesn’t oppose development ‘as long as national planning standards and regulations’ are followed.

Isle of Man Enterprises lodged an appeal against King Gaming Limited’s plans to redevelop a brownfield site after government planners supported the application.

The appeal hearing is due to take place on Tuesday (28 March).

Under plans submitted by The Excel Group a ‘parkland campus facility’ would be created on Victoria Road in Douglas.

This would host a HQ for King Gaming’s 300 staff, 66 staff accommodation units, a restaurant and café.

But Isle of Man Enterprises has highlighted concerns with road safety, flood risks, loss of trees, the impact on heritage and a lack of parking.

It says only 80 spaces have been allocated for the workforce and accommodation.

Chief executive Andrew Thomas said: "There is a misconception that Isle of Man Enterprises is opposed to the principle of development on this site and that is simply not the case.

"In fact we sold the land in question to King Gaming and would welcome a vacant site being developed but not at any cost, especially if it means the planning rules that all other applicants have followed and have to follow are disregarded."

Isle of Man Enterprises says King Gaming has claimed that residents are unlikely to have their own cars as they would be foreign nationals employed under the Visa Waiver Scheme.

It’s disputed the 80 spaces the business says it would need saying there could be 200 local staff who require parking spaces.  

"Whether this is a long-term development or the site ends up being owned by someone else further down the line, there is inadequate parking under these plans and that needs to be addressed at this stage," Mr Thomas added.

The Excel Group claims that once occupied the development on Victoria Road would be the largest single private investment on the Isle of Man.

The project manager for the plans, Bell Burton Associates, has declined to comment at this stage. 

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