A WOMAN who lives near the Mona’s Queen memorial needs to ‘change her mindset’, according to Port St Mary commissioner Alan Grace, who added she should get used to the noise of the halyards striking the flagpoles and flags flapping.
The memorial to the ship, sunk during the evacuation of troops from Dunkirk in 1940, was dedicated on May 29. It centres on an anchor from the ship and there are four poles flying flags from the island, France, UK and Steam Packet.
In June, resident Lynn Nicolas, who lives at Kallow Point, objected retrospectively to the flagpoles and said: ‘They are over development of the surrounding greenfield area and are in excess of what is necessary or appropriate. The flagpoles and flags affect us as we directly overlook the memorial. We find the four flagpoles to be obstructive to our outlook.’
The local authority replied to her that planning permission for the memorial and flagpoles had already been granted – there had been no objections – and the poles will be removed during the winter.
Ms Nicolas replied their neighbours Mr and Mrs Teare had objected to the plan. Also, several neighbours asked about the cost of the memorial; and she believes one flag has already been replaced due to wind damage.
Finally, she asked, if the commissioners had considered her request to reduce the number of flagpoles from four to two. ‘I would consider this number of flagpoles to be more in keeping with the size of the site and this would greatly reduce the noise of the flags flapping in the wind and the halyards striking against the flagpoles, which on some days with the wind strength and wind direction can be a noise nuisance to us, and also could be visually less obtrusive to our direct outlook.’
Commissioners’ clerk Jason Roberts answered there were no ‘recorded objections’. The cost of the project will be made public once it is completed.
The flags have not been damaged, but less expensive ones were raised after the dedication ceremony. Finally, the commissioners decided to retain four flags and the rope was wrapped around the flagpoles to reduce the noise.
Ms Nicolas responded she has a copy of Mr Teare’s letter of objection so is ‘confused’ by the comment there were no objections.
She is also ‘sad and upset’ that her request has not been heeded. She added: ‘I cannot help but think, that it is indeed fortunate, that none of the committee members themselves have to directly overlook the site.’
The noise from the halyards is ‘very annoying’ she wrote. ‘If people in a yachting marina had to listen to the noise of halyards striking yacht masts – there would soon be complaints. Yet is it OK for us to endure the noise, in your opinion?’
Last week, Mr Roberts said Mr Teare’s objection was not considered by planners as he lived too far from the site, so was not an interested party.
Mr Grace said: ‘I have grown up listening to the halyards in winter. When you hear it, it’s happy memories. She [Ms Nicolas] is new, she has got to get used to it and change her mindset.’
Commissioner Chris Kinley said they should look at flagpoles with an ‘inner halyard’. Commissioner Rebecca Sinfield said: ‘Why extra expense for one ratepayer?’
Mr Kinley suggested: ‘Perhaps we should think about as a policy issue when we replace the flagstaffs, we look at inner halyards.’