Trader says Castletown is ‘ghost town’ due to regeneration work

Butcher Chris Lennon claims the regeneration work in Castletown Square is costing his business

Butcher Chris Lennon claims the regeneration work in Castletown Square is costing his business

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There’s still plenty of parking in Castletown while work is going on in Market Square.

That’s the message from Richard Ronan, chairman of the town’s regeneration committee, after criticism from a local trader.

The latest phase of the regeneration work, focusing on Market Square, began two weeks ago as the pavement on the Isle of Man Bank side of the square was torn up and parking was restricted to keep the site clear for machinery.

But an underground electrical issue stopped any work proceeding for the whole of last week.

Chris Lennon of Radcliffe’s Butchers said that trade had dropped by 20 per cent since the work began due to a lack of parking, and expressed frustration at the timing of the works. ‘It’s like a ghost town now,’ he said. ‘It seems ludicrous to be starting in the middle of summer when it’s busy. After all, it’s the Southern 100 this week.’

The Examiner understands that work will continue from today (Tuesday).

The scheme includes an overhaul of paving, seating and lighting in the square and will create more space for pedestrians by adopting a new parking system.

The works are scheduled for completion by spring 2016 according to regeneration manager Steven Stanley, with the new-look Market Square accomodating four fewer parking spaces than before.

Mr Ronan told iomtoday that the project was now proceeding ‘full steam ahead’ after an ‘unfortunate but minor delay.’

‘Sometimes when you dig up surfaces you find these things. It’s unfortunate but it does happen,’ he said.

He added that they have ‘more than made up’ for the loss of the parking spaces in the square by freeing up extra spaces around the centre of the town. The spaces can be found by following the temporary white signs.

Mr Ronan added: ‘There will always be some disruption when work is going on but everything has been carefully planned and there are plenty of parking spaces.

‘I invite the public to come to Castletown and see for themselves,’ he said.

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