Area Plan

consultation process aimed at informing the creation of a Draft Area Plan for the North and West has been extended for a further three weeks.

The process was launched on September 24 and has so far attracted more than 500 responses. It was due to end today (Friday 19 November), but has been extended until Friday 10 December to enable more people to offer their views.

The latest consultation focuses on 35 additional sites in:

  • Andreas
  • Bride 
  • Ballaugh      
  • German       
  • Garff  
  • Jurby
  • Lezayre
  • Patrick
  • Peel
  • Ramsey

These sites are to be assessed and considered for inclusion within the Draft Area Plan for the North and West. Views can be provided online at the Isle of Man Consultation Hub by visiting consult.gov.im Alternatively, submissions can be made in writing by emailing planningpolicy@gov.im or by post to Cabinet Office, Third Floor Government Office, Bucks Road, Douglas, IM1 3PN.

Sheltered Housing

Mayfield Apartments, Ramsey and Northern Districts Housing Committee’s new sheltered housing complex in Queen’s Pier Road, has been officially opened.

Delivered by Ramsey and Northern Districts Housing Committee in partnership with the Department of Infrastructure, the £5.8 million project of 27 one-bedroom and 10 two-bedroom apartments replaces the Cooil ny Marrey sheltered housing complex on Waterloo Road, paving the way for the site’s redevelopment. 

In 2016 Ramsey Commissioners transferred the Queen’s Pier Road site to Ramsey and Northern Districts Housing Committee, whose chairman, Miranda Fargher, presided over the opening ceremony for Mayfield Apartments on Friday, November 5. In her welcome speech she said: ‘Today is a significant day, not only because we are delighted to have now reached the point when we can begin the process of delivering this much needed additional sheltered housing complex in the heart of Ramsey, but because it shows how closely the government and local authority housing providers work together. 

‘The Ramsey and Northern Districts Housing Committee is committed to providing affordable, high-quality social housing for those in our community who meet the criteria for sheltered housing.  Mayfield will not only offer tenants independence combined with security but also a supremely convenient town centre location. Sheltered housing is not just a building; it is part of the wider community and for people who wish to live in a community with people of a similar age.  This building will help us meet our tenants’ needs especially with the amazing facilities it has to offer.’

Cora Callow, a Cooil ny Marrey resident for 23 years, cut the ribbon to officially open the complex

Greatest Christmas Show Book Signing

Douglas Council’s Greatest Christmas Show on Thursday November 25 is set to be even greater, with the Henry Bloom Noble Library hosting a book-signing event with celebrated local astronomer Howard Parkin. Between 4p, and 6pm Mr Parkin will be signing copies of his book ‘Space for Dark Skies – an astronomical miscellany from the Isle of Man’, which contains spectacular images of the Manx dark night skies and is described as serving ‘as both a memoir and tutorial guide’. 

Mr Parkin was recently selected joint winner of the British Astronomical Society’s (BAA) 2021 Sir Patrick Moore Prize for ‘the encouragement of a popular interest in astronomy’, and ‘the encouragement of participation in observational work by youngsters’ for his work giving talks on astronomy-related topics to societies, groups and schools. Mr Parkin said: ‘What makes the award special for me is that I met Sir Patrick Moore on a number of occasions and he was an inspiration to me. He also agreed to be the patron of the Isle of Man Astronomical Society and he helped us in a number of ways for which we are all eternally grateful.’

Borough librarian Jan Macartney said: ‘All of us are thrilled, not only that Howard has kindly agreed to a book-signing session on this very special evening, but also that his work and passion for sharing his wealth of knowledge have been recognised by such an august body as the BAA. We’re delighted to be part of the Greatest Christmas Show, which promises to be a truly stellar event.’

The Greatest Christmas Show is on Thursday November 25 from 5.30 to 8.30pm in Douglas town centre.

Pony Club

The Isle of Man Pony Club has received a helping hand for new and improved facilities at its equestrian centre. The local branch has been awarded Community Awards funding from Manx Lottery Trust to help develop the club, after recently moving from its old site in Santon and relocating to a new venue at Ballacorey Equestrian in Andreas. 

£8,000 has been used towards the cost of timber and to undertake groundworks and construct fences for the club’s new cross-country course. A further amount of £7,650 will be used to purchase additional equipment for the safety and comfort of competitors, including a portable toilet, generator, and some walkie-talkie radios.

Alice Corrin, District Commissioner at Isle of Man Pony Club, said: ‘Our new venue in the north of the Island is great, we just needed a little help to make it fit for purpose and develop the cross-country course for our members as the old fences had to be moved and replaced. We’re really pleased with the end result and are so grateful to Manx Lottery Trust for helping to fund it, and of course for the additional funding which will be used to purchase essential new equipment for our club.  The support from Manx Lottery Trust will be invaluable in enabling us to create a Centre of Excellence for Equestrian Sport in the Isle of Man.’

Lock it Down

Days after Austria imposed a lockdown on the unvaccinated, it has announced a full national Covid-19 lockdown starting on Monday. Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said it would last a maximum of 20 days and there would be a legal requirement to get vaccinated from 1 February 2022. He was responding to record cases numbers and one of the lowest vaccination levels in Western Europe. Many other European countries are imposing restrictions as cases rise.

Covid Pass

Travellers who have had a booster dose of a Covid jab in England will be able to prove their vaccination status using the NHS Covid Pass from midday. It will enable quarantine-free travel to countries such as Israel, Croatia and Austria, which have a time limit for vaccination status to be valid.  Third doses will not be added to the domestic pass as they are not currently needed to qualify as fully vaccinated.

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