A proposed hike in the fees charged to keep a boat by Port St Mary’s outer breakwater – from £104 to £180 – has outraged boat owners who have outlined their concerns in letters to the local authority.
Port Erin resident Peter Addison wrote: ‘I am far from happy about this – the plot at the moment is only a rough bit of land.’
There are ‘a number of boats and trailers’ which have been abandoned, he wrote, adding: ‘May I suggest you remove all items from these plots and rent them out again, thus earning an income and keeping our rentals at a reasonable amount’.
He said he wants to keep his plot and asked if the £180 new fee could be reduced.
Boat owners Mark Teese and Ian Scott also wrote in opposition to the proposed hike: ‘We think that the proposed new annual cost is nothing short of extortionate given the state/condition of the park at this time.
‘A few years ago rentals were massively increased and improvements were promised at that time, however, to this date none have been forthcoming.’
They asked for details about the ‘proposed improvements and when they will be done’.
They added it would be wise to consult with boat owners about any improvements to the area ‘and what is practical to implement’.
The boat bays are not surfaced properly or defined, they need more ‘tie down points’, electric or water points, and markings such as double yellow lines to stop cars parking in front of the boats, they wrote.
They asked the local authority: ‘How can you justify such a massive increase on what at present is an area of waste ground?’
At their meeting on September 4, Port St Mary commissioner Rebecca Sinfield proposed they discuss the matter in private and subsequently make any decision made known to the public in due course.
It is understood a statement was to be made at a meeting yesterday (Wednesday) evening, after the Manx Independent went to press.