Callow’s Yard meeting fails after refusal to withdraw plan

Callows Yard, Castletown

Callows Yard, Castletown

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Callow’s Yard developer Roy Tilleard has refused to withdraw his latest application to convert more retail to residential in the town centre development – which means a meeting with Castletown Commissioners did not happen.

The application (14/00148/B) for alterations to one- and two-bedroom flats at Malew Street is one of several that promise to change the complexion of the town centre development by converting it from retail to residential use.

Opposition to another plan for Callow’s Yard for additional residential accommodation at Arbory Street sparked a public meeting last month, at which local people expressed unanimous opposition to the proposal because of the impact it would have on the town.

Mr Tilleard has said retail does not work in town and the only other option is residential. It was agreed a meeting of interested parties should be held to discuss the best way forward for the town.

Mr Tilleard offered to meet the authority and the commmissioners agreed, provided he withdraw the Malew Street application as a gesture of good faith. But he refused to do this.

At the latest commissioners’ meeting the authority objected to the Malew Street plan along the same lines as they opposed the Arbory Street plan (which has been put on hold by Mr Tilleard).

These were that it would ‘significantly undermine the vitality, viability, diversity and character of Castletown town centre’; there is no car parking; it would have an adverse impact on the conservation area and be contrary to island plans.

‘At some point we are going to have to sit down with everybody and find a way forward for the town,’ said Colin Leather.

Mr Weir said: ‘If the man [Mr Tilleard] will not talk to us . . .’

Andrew Thomas said Callow’s Yard should not be allowed to become a ‘ghetto’ and plans should be for ‘much lower density’ housing.

Mr Weir said: ‘At the last meeting we agreed everyone would come with a clean slate. It [the meeting] did not happen – that’s not our fault.

‘Unless he is genuine about finding a solution, that’s in his hands. If he comes with an open mind . . . unfortunately he is not doing it.’

Mr Weir added: ‘I have been saying this for the last five years: Mr Tilleard must listen to somebody.’

He said to Mr Leather: ‘You are his friend, you talk to him!’

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