Feedback is being sought on proposals that will shape the future of strategic planning and development in the north and west of the Island.
A public consultation has been launched, representing the first formal stage in producing a new area plan.
The Area Plan for the North and West is the local implementation of the policies and vision set out in the Isle of Man Strategic Plan 2016. Subject to Tynwald approval, it will replace the existing development plans currently in place: the local plans for Ramsey (1998), Peel (1989), Kirk Michael (1994), Sulby (1999), St John’s (1999), Foxdale (1999), as well as the remaining parts of the 1982 Plan which covers much of the countryside between the above settlements.
This plan represents the final piece of the new generation of area plans, which first began with the approval of the Area Plan for the South in 2013 and the Area Plan for the East in 2020. The completion of an Area Plan for the North and West will be a stepping stone to an All-Island Area Plan which will be easier to review and update.
The continuous development of planning policy remains a key focus for Government, and during the approval of the Area Plan for the East, a commitment was made to update the 2016 Strategic Plan before the end of 2023, and to seek to complete an ‘All-Island Plan’ before the end of 2025.
The current stage, which is referred to as ‘Preliminary Publicity’, invites all those interested to comment on the matters which the area plan aims to consider. With consultation documents and accompanying maps providing baseline information, responses will guide the preparation of the draft plan. This includes aiding decision making on where, when, and how land is allocated, reflecting both existing land uses and land proposed for development.
In 2020 a ‘call for sites’ took place, where all persons/groups with an interest were invited to propose sites to consider for future development or specific designations. These sites form a core part of this preliminary publicity, and are now available for viewing along with other relevant documentation.
Minister for Policy and Reform Ray Harmer MHK said: ‘The published documents set about identifying and drawing together the planning issues and matters that the new plan will address. As the minister responsible for the island’s planning policy function, I am well aware of the benefits that come with having up to date development plans in place. I am committed to progressing with our plan-making to support the local needs of our economy, our environment and climate change goals, our public services, our infrastructure and the health and social wellbeing of our communities.
‘Engagement in the process is vital and I would like to encourage everyone with an interest to get involved from the start. Meaningful consultation is vital and makes for a more rounded and robust plan and ensures matters and sites are fully scrutinised.’
The consultation documents can be viewed and downloaded from the Isle of Man Government website at https://consult.gov.im/.
All representations must be submitted by 5pm on Friday 25 June 2021.