THERE is no case against Port Erin Commissioners relating to their disposal of the land at Seaview in Bradda Glen, said the Department of Infrastructure.
The department’s investigation was prompted by one of the commissioners, who had concerns about the way in which fellow commissioners had conducted their consideration of who should redevelop the Seaview site.
There were three houses at Seaview that were used as public housing. Built in 1962, they needed structural attention and the local authority discovered the cost of refurbishment was prohibitively high, so the houses were demolished late in 2011.
The local authority asked for feedback from members of the public on possible uses of the site and suggestions ranged from a visitors’ centre to holiday flats for disabled people.
They decided to pursue development of the site, possibly for affordable housing or for use by those with a disability to take holidays and also approached the Department of Social Care (DSC) about social housing.
At a meeting with the DSC last July, the department agreed that a portion of the revenue of the sale should go towards a public sector housing scheme, to be built elsewhere. The sale of the rest of the site – owned by the local authority – would go on a capital project.
In September, the local authority asked for expressions of interest in developing the site.
Speaking about the investigation into the commissioners’ conduct, the department’s head of local government, Steve Willoughby, said the department was duty-bound to investigate the issue once a query was raised and it did not suggest there has been any wrong-doing.
Amanda Craig, head of corporate services at the department, wrote to the local authority on March 30 that after reviewing the documentation, the department had found ‘there is no case to answer with regards to the complaint that we received.
‘The department’s role is to ensure that the correct governance framework for a local authority is in place and adhered to under standing orders.
‘Having completed a very detailed review of documentation supplied by the commissioners in response to this matter, there is no evidence of any irregularities in the process that has been followed with regard to the disposal of the Seaview site.’
She added: ‘The department will be taking no further action in this matter.’
Commissioners’ chairman Dave Bennett said: ‘We knew at the time we had done nothing wrong. The board were quite annoyed that a member went behind their backs for what ends, we do not know.’