Delays mean Port Erin plan withdrawal
AN application to re-develop the site of the derelict swimming pool at Traie Meanagh in Port Erin has been withdrawn.
The plan (11/00705/B) by Steve Bradshaw was for an 18-bedroom hotel with an area for diving courses and marine haven.
Redevelopment was to be a two and three-storey building on the footprint of the current structures. When planners last considered the application, several months ago, they said: ‘The concept of a specialist hotel that is related to water based activities is welcomed.’ However access was the main concern.
Plans to bring people by water taxi from the Raglan Pier depends on tide, weather and daylight, and availability of a water taxi.
The alternative route is by footpath, but they need that to be ‘widened, levelled and lit in order to become satisfactorily usable’.
The footpath is owned by the local authority and work would require separate approval, raising issues about the ‘visual and ecological impact’.
Planning officer Jennifer Chance emailed commissioners’ clerk Mike Kewley and explained as the footpath is a critical element of the plan, the application would require the support of the local authority.
Keen for improvement of an area that has been derelict since 1981, Port Erin Commissioners supported the principle of the application when they discussed it in June.
However at last week’s meeting, the authority considered a letter from the planning department, that said: ‘Information requested by this office, to assist in the determination of the … planning application, remains outstanding. Accordingly … the application is now deemed to be withdrawn.’
Ms Chance said because the pedestrian access lies outside the ‘red line’ or boundary of the original planning application, Mr Bradshaw would have to submit another plan anyway.
Or he could submit a ‘pre-application’ scheme showing access and get the department’s opinion.
She said the department held the application ‘in abeyance’ for a year and a half waiting for information.
‘There has got to be a time at which we say, this application is done.’
Afterwards, commissioners’ chairman Ged Power said: ‘I’m disappointed there is a stall in the process because it’s an eyesore, but we will work with Steve Bradshaw and the department so that development of the site could be a realistic option in the future.
‘But I would love it if the owner took some simple measures to improve the site ... why not paint everything that is white or blue a colour that blends in with the surrounding landscape?
Surely that would be low cost and no doubt make a difference.’
He said he would welcome any offers of help from the community to perhaps liaise with Mr Bradshaw and help to do some painting work.
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