Not tickled pink over new water pumping station

The new water pumping house on Church Road, Lonan

The new water pumping house on Church Road, Lonan

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‘Lonan’s pink pagoda’ is the name given by two of our readers to a piece of civic architecture which has appeared on the hill above Laxey village.

Referred to via Facebook message to Isle of Man Newspapers from Victor MacIlvaney and Barry McLeish, the construction, a pumping station for the fresh water main between Onchan and Laxey, is above the Ballacannell estate near to Lonan Church.

But the men have described it as ‘a masterpiece to rival the best of the Turner Prize, finished in simulated pink crazy paving, roofed with something that might just look like slate.

‘The careful attention to detail is to be praised: a cat-flap with stainless steel hinges, a concrete block against one wall that will surely stop any passing tank that tries demolition – and it’s a tempting notion.

Messrs MacIlvaney, of Empress Terrace and McLeish of Hope Street, in Douglas, go on to say: ‘It’s a real triumph for the creators of the Lavy Levy, a glass reinforced plastic kiosk for housing the pumps to serve the new water main from Onchan to Laxey. According to the manufacturers it is “designed to blend aesthetically with any location and environment”. I wonder what “location” they had in mind for this one.

‘Luckily the cheeky chappies who thought up the “Every Dump another Dollar” idea are exempt from that tiresome bureaucratic requirement – planning permission. Public utilities aren’t bound by the restraints that shackle Joe Public. In a glorious gesture of defiance this bizarre shed has been inflicted on the population and will no doubt be with them for decades.’

Tim Woakes, project delivery manager for the Water and Sewerage Authority, said the pumping station was not yet complete. ‘It’s to be painted – I’m not sure what colour but definitely not pink. It will blend in and be and screened with suitable plants front and back. That will be done in the next few weeks.’

Mr Woakes added they were subject to planning permission but the pumping station was exempt as a permitted development less than 29 square metres.

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