Horizon is £ sign

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IN 1887 T.E. Brown wrote ‘polity, the limited horizon of our stage’. Polity is defined in a dictionary contemporary with Brown’s writing as ‘Parish Pump Politics’.

Brown’s views on Manx character appear to be prevalent today, clearly indicated by the comments of Messers [John] Cannell [captain of the parish] and [Eddie] Teare [Minister of Education] in the Examiner of August 23. Their limited horizon is a large £ sign.

How can Mr Teare assume he is ‘getting the best value for the taxpayer’ when he is dealing with only one developer and singing along to its tune? How can he claim to have been given confidence to go ahead with his deal over the land swap for development in Kirk Michael due to lack of contact from residents? He had already signed an agreement with the developer on August 19 – before David Cannan’s appeal appeared in this paper on August 22 and one day after his departure from Tynwald. A comprehensive letter expressing opposition to the development appeared in the Examiner of July 5, which I trust was read by Mr Teare.

The issue of the school playing field is only a part of a much larger picture involving the re-assessment of the land-use sesignation of the areas to the east of the existing built environment.

The island Strategic Plan 2007 quotes a target of 6,000 new homes by 2016, including 1,000 in the west. By June 30, 2009, planning applications for 948 homes had been approved, leaving a deficit of 52 for the whole of the west (German, Michael, Patrick and Peel). The parish of Michael would qualify for between four and five.

The number of unsold new houses throughout the island, coupled with the large number of housing approvals not taken up, would indicate that the forecast target of 6,000 was fairly accurate and is close to being achieved.

Kirk Michael does not need 100 extra houses. The Kirk Michael Local Plan 1994 – Policy 5.13 states: ‘If at the end of the five-year life of this document detailed applications for the development of residential areas allocated have not been approved, then consideration should be given to the removal of such areas from development purposes.’

I strongly urge the planning department to implement Policy 5.13 and prevent development of this backland site – or at least re-designate it for Parkland development (maximum of one per acre), sited so as to avoid destroying the vista of the Michael Hills from Douglas Road Corner.

Residents of Michael, leave your cars at home and get out to Douglas Road Corner. Look over the playing field to the hills beyond and imagine the view blocked by Dandaraville.

J. KERMODE, Address supplied

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