Proposals by Braddan Commissioners to restrict residents drying washing adjacent to a highway have come under fire from one of the parish’s residents.
Erica Kermode, who lives in Strang Road, has accused commissioners of being petty and bureaucratic in creating the new by-laws which are now awaiting official approval by Tynwald.
‘Line drying is cheaper, more environmentally friendly, supports the drive for sustainability and supports the government’s aims as a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol to reduce CO2 emissions,’ Mrs Kermode said.
‘These rules are the most ridiculous, over-zealous, undemocratic load of nonsense I have ever seen proposed by a local authority. I am all in favour of preventing nuisance to neighbours – but the commissioners only need to legislate for things that cause a real nuisance or harm.’
Mrs Kermode said she was aware the latest draft of the by-laws would not affect her personally because her house has a high wall screening washing from the public highway, but she added: ‘For some people their front garden may be the only suitable space they have.
‘Why does it matter if washing is adjacent to a footpath or highway? Have precious souls been traumatised by the site of knickers blowing in the breeze? If washing is to be banned from front gardens why not by-laws against garden gnomes, giant plastic Santas, rusty cars or any of the other things people have in their front gardens? The island used to be a tolerant place to live – but that live-and-let-live spirit seems to be fast disappearing.’
A spokesman for Braddan commissioners said the by-law, with a possible £2,500 fine, was in line with those in Douglas and had been open to public consultation before the final draft. He said they would only act on actual complaints and take a pragmatic approach to enforcement.