Plans have been submitted for major alterations to Douglas railway station.
The Department of Infrastructure wants to make the building commercially viable to ensure its future preservation.
In the bid (14/00891/GB), it states: ‘Although popular with visitors and local residents, the station building has been in need of repairs and refurbishment for some time.’
The partitions, floors and ceilings would be demolished and a new first floor and mezzanine, staircase and lift installed. An expanded restaurant would be moved to the first floor, where public toilets would also be installed.
A new kitchen would be built on the ground floor in a current store room, the ticket office would become a cafe, and the current restaurant space would become a retail unit to be occupied by a tenant to increase income revenue from the building.
An ‘al fresco dining area’, covered by a glass canopy, would be created, to provide extra seating for the restaurant and cafe, as well as an external passenger waiting area.
The building was designed and built in 1889-1891 and added to the Protected Buildings Register in 1984.
The recommendation accompanying the notice of registration states: ‘It is difficult to consider the merits of listing this building without knowing the future of the railway line itself. The station is not felt to be a good example of such a Victorian structure.
‘If it were judged appropriate to retain a “monument” to the station in the event of its possible demolition then it is reasoned that the clock/arch would suffice. However there does seem to be a considerable feeling of emotion on the part of the general public directed toward retaining the station intact regardless, and as public servants the authorities must take such views into account.’