Concern over Summerhill flats proposals

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FEARS have been raised over a plan to build 68 flats at Summerhill Quarry, in Summerhill Place.

Douglas East MHK Brenda Cannell has written to government planners over the application by Holden Properties Ltd.

She said constituents were ‘greatly concerned’ over the plan (11/01091/B) to build the two-bedroom flats, including 15 affordable units and parking.

Part of the proposal involves demolishing 6 Summerhill.

In a letter submitted by the company’s agent, Savage & Chadwick Architects, it said demolishing the property would ‘create a proper access, not just to the development site but to benefit the whole existing residential area as the present access is sub-standard’. And it said the property had ‘no particular architectural merit’.

Mrs Cannell said demolishing 6 Summerhill was ‘unjustified’ as it was ‘structurally sound’ and its removal ‘would undermine the stability and integrity of the rest of the terrace’.

She raised concerns about car parking provision – which is fewer than the two per unit required by the Department of Infrastructure.

Transport consultants Sanderson Associates, who carried out a transport assessment, said data showed there would be sufficient spaces to meet ‘maximum operational demand’ – and the deficit in spaces would be made up through motorcycle and bicycle spaces.

Although Mrs Cannell said the development would lead to a rise in traffic flow and congestion, Sanderson Associates said the plan ‘will not have a detrimental impact on the local highway network’.

In its submission, Savage & Chadwick said the planned building had been designed so it should not be any higher than the height of the cliff – and the plan included a ‘generous amount of public space’.

But Mrs Cannell said she was concerned the height, scale and mass was an ‘overintensive use’ of the site.

She said there was ‘no guarantee’ it would not be higher than the cliff face, and that the size and design of the building was ‘inappropriate’ in a conservation area. Douglas East candidate John Karran said the development looked ‘completely out of scale’ with the surrounding land and would be ‘overbearing for the local residents’.

‘However, if a sympathetic design could be drawn up in keeping with the surrounding area and residents’ concerns, then the work that such a scheme would provide, through the building and owners fitting out their apartments, would be of valuable and ongoing benefit to our economy at a time that we need it most.’

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