Nicholson Group withdraws business park application

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AN ambitious plan to build a multi-million pound business plan near the airport has been withdrawwn.

The Nicholson Group, which owns a number of businesses including Shoprite, released a statement this afternoon (Friday).

It reads: ‘At the public inquiry planning meeting held on Monday anuary 21, to consider Nicholson Group’s application to develop a business park on land at Ronaldsway, representatives of the Department of Infrastructure planning team unexpectedly informed those present that the Southern Area Plan was to be taken to February Tynwald for ratification, on exactly the same dates that the full inquiry was due to be heard.

‘Work on the Southern Area Plan has been ongoing since 2008. In May 2012, the final modified draft area pllan was issued. In October 2012 The Nicholson Group submitted a planning application to develop a business Park on its Ronaldsway land.

‘However the impression given by the planners at the inquiry meeting was that further changes may have been made to the Plan, and this would only become public knowledge in time for Tynwald. The policy in this plan covers the Ronaldsway area and is relevant to the determination of this application.

‘Nicholson Group subsequently sought clarification of the Plan adopted by the DoI. They received confirmation on Tuesday, January 29, that it would be in the public domain on February 7.

‘The deadline for the submission of comprehensive Proofs of Evidence for the Inquiry into the planning application is February 8.

‘Three-and-a-half years; work and a substantial sum of money has gone into the development of this business park scheme to date.

‘The company feels that to be left with a 24-hour window to produce evidence on the basis of policy that is unconfirmed and may yet change is prejudicial to their proposal.

‘The company feels that it cannot deliver its application in a meaningful fashion due to the lack of clarity of policy given by the Department of Infrastructure in relation to the publication of the draft Southern Area Plan.

‘However, when the policy is eventually clarified and in the public domain the company will reconsider its position.’

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