The DoI has submitted a planning application for major changes to the area around Ramsey Harbour
Plans show a new wall around the harbour as well as improvements for drainage and a reconstruction of the highway.
The application outlines that as climate change continues to affect the island, there is a need to try to secure the safety of residents and infrastructure. Ramsey itself has succumb to a number of flooding events in recent years and the evidence that there needs to be improvements in flood for some has been strengthened by this.
As well as the need to protect the area from flooding, the DoI says that it is ‘widely accepted that West Quay has reached the end of its useful life both in highway terms and from an aesthetic viewpoint’. They say that due to the failure of foundations, the ride quality is poor and the highway is made up of settlement, cracking and patched repair works.
Modelling for the area shows that the plans for a flood wall on the West Quay would present ‘betterment to the shorter return period tidal events, but results in increased fluvial flood depths and extents from the Litney Stream’. The application adds: ‘The Manx Utility Authority (MUA) and their consultants JBA are developing a series of improvement measures to minimise the anticipated increase in fluvial flood depths at the Litney culvert and agreements are in place between the Department of Infrastructure and the MUA to ensure that these works are done concurrently or in advance of any works to enhance the sea defences on West Quay.’
Low Speed Environment and Parking
The DoI has said that as the harbour still functions as a commercial one, there will remain a need for vehicle and HGV access in and around the West Quay. Its proposed layout for these changes is to create a better combined space for traffic and people.
However it is the parking changes for the areas which had already proved controversial before the application was fully published. The DoI plans would see 70 spaces lost from the town’s West Quay, a reduction of 63%. A petition created by residents against this part of the plan has already attracted over 750 signatures and suggests that the DoI has not learned from its experience on Douglas prom over consulting with residents and business owners before pushing ahead with its plans.
The application does say of a public consultation that was held before the DoI submitted it and said that as well as parking, material finishes and ongoing operations of the fishing fleet were the biggest problem. It adds: ‘A number of the initial concerns raised by the public were misconceptions and easily addressed. A representative for the fishermen voiced some concerns about the proposals at the consultation. Following on from the consultation we worked with the fishing rep to make sure that the operational needs of the harbour were not compromised. To ensure this we implemented a designated unloading area for the fishing boats so direct access to a vehicle would always be available for them.’
The DoI’s also says that a 2019 surgery shows there is no shortage of parking in the town and that ‘during the course of the study it was only ever at 75% of full capacity’. The application adds: ‘Looking on an individual basis, only the Albert Road and MER carparks were ever at full capacity on more than one occasion. Furthermore the co-op carpark was at full capacity on one occasion.
‘In order to mitigate the impact of the proposed scheme and to take on board the feedback from the consultation, the Department is looking to work with Ramsey Town Commissioners to impose a 2 hour permitted wait time on the Albert Road carpark to allow a higher turnover of vehicles throughout the day. This would accommodate for more users wanting to visit the town for a short period. Manx Utilities Authority have a directive to install electric car charging points within all the towns on the Island. To aid in this objective we are hoping to install a number of car charging points along West Quay.’
You can read the full application here.