THE regeneration of Laxey has moved a step closer with the submission of a planning application for significant improvements to the MER Station, rose garden and Whitehouse Square.
The Department of Community Culture and Leisure, in conjunction with Laxey Regeneration Committee, has submitted a planning application for proposals to enhance the visual appeal of the area.
Preparation of the application has taken many months and had involved the commissioners, church, heritage trust, Manx Wildlife Trust, Department of Environment foresters and local business people.
The aim is to create a more attractive and usable Whitehouse Square, to make the area more accessible for all abilities, to increase safety for pedestrians, and to bring more light into the area.
Improved pedestrian walkways are proposed within the MER station in order to improve safety, diseased trees will be removed, some saplings will be thinned and the canopy of some trees will be raised to allow more light and air through the trees to encourage healthier growth.
The tram station buildings will remain intact.
The rose garden will be improved for pedestrians with a more accessible walkway linking the Mines Road to Whitehouse Square, bringing locals and visitors safely into the retail centre and to the improved entrance to the tram station.
The square itself will be extended, levelled and repaved, with an information point and an opportunity for the creation of some public art.
Steve Rodan, chairman of the Laxey Regeneration Committee, said: ‘The committee has worked very hard with the Department to bring forward this major regeneration proposal for Laxey. The public told us in the regeneration consultation that their top priorities were creating a public square and smartening up Laxey.
‘I believe the proposed improvements will greatly improve Laxey and bring more people here to stay longer.’
Leisure Minister, Tim Crookall MHK, commented: ‘Laxey tram station is one of our top tourist attractions and the hub of the Manx Electric Railway and the Snaefell Mountain Railway.
‘The station needed essential improvements and we have been delighted to work with the Regeneration Committee to add value to the essentials and create a more attractive area’.