THREE new houses planned to overlook Peel headlands would be comparable to London skyscraper The Gherkin, an inquiry has heard.
Three residents from nearby St Patrick’s View and representatives from Peel Commissioners raised their objections to a bid by Andy Fisher for three three-storey houses on land next to a house he owns, Carnaween, in Battery Road.
The application (12/01138/B) was approved by government planners in December, before an appeal was submitted by St Patrick’s View resident Louise Haynes.
Neighbour Keith Wood said: ‘It may turn out to be Peel’s Gherkin, visible from the centre of Peel and outlying areas.’
He explained the height of the proposed development – lower than adjacent properties – ‘would distinguish it from other buildings’.
Mrs Haynes said she had no objections to a building on the site, but explained her main concern was the height of the development and the impact it would have in terms of loss of sunlight and overlooking of her property.
Peel Commissioners clerk Peter Leadley and commissioner Alan Jones raised concerns the sewerage system would struggle to cope.
But planning inspector Stephen Amos said it was difficult to assess the issue as no evidence had been submitted to show there was a problem.
They also opposed the plan saying that the maximum number of houses to be built in the west of the island – set out in the Strategic Plan as 1,000 – had already been exceeded.
An existing access lane would be improved to provide vehicular access to the development.
Concerns were raised about the width of the access lane, visibility from the junction with Ramsey Road, and increased traffic.
Patricia Molyneux, of St Patrick’s View, said she was worried there would be ‘traffic jams, accidents and obstructions’.
Hazel Fletcher, on behalf of the Department of Infrastructure’s highways division, said the lane would be almost 2m wider at its narrowest point than the minimum requirement and there was adequate visibility.
Mr Fisher told the inquiry that his application ‘isn’t something that I have rushed into’.
He explained he had employed an architect, and consulted professionals including the highways, planning authorities and forestry authorities.
‘I feel that I have consulted everyone and that is why the plans I have submitted will fit in with existing properties and Peel Commissioners’ development policies,’ Mr Fisher said.
Mr Amos will write a report with his recommendations, for determination by Infrastructure Minister Phil Gawne MHK.