Douglas Borough Council has finally been given the green light to progress repairs to the sunken gardens.
It was last December when a storm washed away the walls on some of the gardens, also rendering the children’s play area out of use.
Work to clear up any damage commenced as soon as the storm subsided and the local authority said it ‘immediately sought to undertake repairs’.
However, it was advised not to carry out any work until a structural engineer assessed the area and the insurance company concluded its review.
Since some of the walls were taken out by the storm, they have been replaced by some rather fetching yellow barriers, which fans of Charles Guard will be all too familiar with.
Council Leader Claire Wells explained: ‘It is well documented that, as a Council, we have been frustrated by the time it has taken to hear back from the loss adjuster, especially as we acted so quickly and had drawn up a range of options for remedial work before Christmas.
‘However, we were clearly informed we had to wait for the go-ahead and that beginning work could have jeopardised any pay out. Now the process with insurers about possible compensation claims has been completed, we are determined to carry out this work and, after being given the official approval by Council, it is all systems go.’
Despite this, Mrs Wells says she still believes that the rebuild should fit into wider central gov plans for a sea wall along the capital’s seafront.
She added: ‘‘I said earlier this year that when we are spending ratepayers money, we only want to do it once and we want to do it right so we have held early talks with the Department of Infrastructure as any replacement structures would ideally fit in with plans for flood defences on the seafront and we want to limit the inconvenience.
‘I suspect it will surprise some people that the overall work to rebuild the collapsed sections of Marine Garden walls alone will cost more than £200,000, not just a few thousand as some seem to think. Of course, following Storm Barra, we also need to construct flood protection and accelerate the replacement of the Loch Promenade Play area so overall this is a highly significant investment. We also have to be realistic about timescales as the building industry is chronically understaffed However, we are committing to getting this work done as quickly as possible.’
No timeframe for the work has been revealed.