Railway station office plan rejected

Port St Mary railway station

Port St Mary railway station

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A plan to convert Port St Mary railway station to office accommodation has been refused by planners.

The plan (14/00177/B by David Frederick Colcough) is to convert the Victorian building to offices, retaining the railway station ticket office and facilities on the ground floor.

But the independent inspector said car parking provision is inadequate and would result in on-street parking.

As the building was sold to Mr Colcough by a government department, the former Department of Community, Culture and Leisure (DCCL) (now responsibility is within the Department of Infrastructure), the decision was made by the Council of Ministers.

Independent inspector Stephen Amos assessed the plan and said the layout shows 14 work stations and conference facilities for 18.

The scheme shows only five spaces for the offices and a non-dedicated area for the station (which could lead to dangerous reversing from or into Station Road), failing to meet the parking standards in the strategic plan. He estimated – given the floor plans – the offices would require 17 or 18 car parking spaces. Also, there is not enough information on the required parking for railway staff and passengers.

The application shows the location of other potential car parks, ‘these do not form part of this application and do not involve land over which the applicant has any control’ so should not be taken into account.

He recommended refusal based on concerns about car parking and the impact on highway safety and on the free flow of traffic.

The decision to sell the building to Mr Colcough provoked controversy at the time it was made by the then DCCL as the other applicant was Port St Mary chocolatier Cocoa Red, who wanted to open a chocolate factory there.

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