Kelman Ltd has submitted plans to developed 22-28 on North Quay in Douglas into ten apartments and three bar/restaurant units.

Previous plans, which would’ve seen the Newsons warehouse redeveloped, never got off the ground and part of these buildings remain on the Protected Buildings Register.

In the new planning application, Kelman said it paid for a structural assessment of the existing buildings, which was undertaken by Curtins Consulting Engineers. That report said that 27/28 North Quay (the Newsons warehouse) is showing ‘significant’ movement and is said to be in ‘danger of imminent collapse’.

Registered Building

While the Newsons warehouse is registered building, Kelman Ltd says that its age, about 230 years old, is ‘not necessarily a reason to register it’.

It says: ‘The changes to this building over time have only left the central lifting beam access visible to distinguish its former use. The alterations have been so extensive that one of the demolished buildings has created a vacant site and the ground floor fenestration for all buildings within the group has been completely altered.

‘Every old building has a social history and it whilst in itself that may be interesting, the registration of a building should be more concerned with any unique aspects of its ownership or use. None are apparent here.’

It adds that the building has ‘little architectural value’ and that the company believes the reasons for registration to be ‘weak’.

Plans

It approved, these plans would include ‘demolition and rebuilding of numbers 22/23, 26, 27 and 28 and physical changes to the internal layout of the existing building to be retained, number 24’. Number 24, which Kelman says is the only building that should be saved, is the base of the Manx TaxPayers Alliance.

The scheme would see the site transformed into ground floor units, which would contain bars and restaurants, with the upper floors being used for 10 flats. While any development with eight or more homes is required to provide affordable housing, Kelman has said it intends to pay a commuted sum in lieu of this.

The planning application and associated registered building application can be found and commented on through these links.

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