'We want to grow the population, so let's prepare'
The Policy and Reform Minister has defended a commitment to plan for more than 2,400 houses to be built in the east of the Island.
Chris Thomas says it's government policy to grow the economically active population, and long-term planning strategies should reflect that.
It comes after his department released data stating that currently, only 1,400 new properties are needed in the east.
The information has been released ahead of the inquiry into the Eastern Area Plan, which will determine how land in the most populated part of the Island will be zoned for development.
It's been revealed the person chosen to lead the inquiry is Mike Hurley, who'll introduce himself at a pre-inquiry meeting which will be held on 18 July at the iMuseum in Douglas from 9:30am.
Middle MHK Bill Shimmins has called the commitment to plan for more homes than are currently needed 'bonkers'.
Mr Thomas gave Local Democracy Reporter Ewan Gawne his response to Mr Shimmins' criticism: