Tynwald backs Southern Area Plan

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The Southern Area Plan was tonight (Wednesday) supported by Tynwald, in spite of the opposition of the MHKs for Rushen.

The main sticking point was Ballakilley, Rushen, which was designated for housing rather than recreational use.

Laurence Skelly (Rushen) said that there was much to applaud in the plan but he said that Ballakilley was in the ‘thinnest part of Isle of Man’, and described it as ‘precious’.

The man who owned it, Joe Clucas, had left it for recreation, not development, he said.

Phil Gawne (Rushen) said the vast majority of people in the area were against the proposal for Ballakilley and read a statement from Rushen Parish Commissioners opposing the plans for Ballakilley.

He said most of the plan was good but, because of the all-or-nothing nature of Tynwald’s decision-making on area plans, he would have to oppose it.

There was a desperate need for more sport and recreation facilities in the area around Port Erin and Port St Mary, he said.

He spoke for almost 50 minutes on the topic after members decided to carry on rather than adjourn the evening’s sitting.

Juan Watterson (Rushen) was called away at short notice. He wanted to vote against it.

Richard Ronan (Castletown) was delighted land could be released around Castletown for houses under the plan.

The town was just 0.9 of a square mile, he said ‘It has to grow to survive,’ he said.

The Minister for Infrastructure, David Cretney, confirmed that if Tynwald did not back the plan, the whole process would have to start from scratch.

18 MHKs supported it, three opposed. Mr Watterson was absent. Eight members of Legislative Council voted for it and four voted against.

Tynwald wrapped up at 9.55pm.

Click here to see more details of the plan

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