The ‘perception’ of what is in Ramsey shouldn’t be considered as part of a bid by the town’s commissioners to extend its boundaries.

That’s the view of the vice chair of Garff Commissioners, Marinda Fargher, who has been defending her authority over the plans.

A three-day public inquiry is currently being held at Ramsey Park Hotel as Ramsey seeks to absorb parts of Garff and Lezayre due to its belief that it’s at ‘capacity’.

Northern Boundary

During the second day of the inquiry, chair Peter Taylor dealt with issues arising from the proposed northern boundary line.

This includes expanding to include the Northern Civic Amenity Site and the water treatment works down to Jurby Road. Ramsey Commissioners says it sees this as having the most value in terms of both employment and housing.

It also believes this area is ‘overspill’ and ‘outgrowth’ due to its closeness to the town’s current boundary and because the roads and houses are accessed from the town.

The inquiry also heard, from the commissioners, that many residents ‘perceive’ the amenity site to be in Ramsey because the authority manages it and pays the most in contributions.  

However, chair of Lezayre Commissioners, Julian Teare, said: 'The civic amenity site is not a sub-committee of Ramsey Town Commissioners, it’s a joint committee of all northern local authorities.'

He added that the area in the proposed boundary is again mostly farmland and agricultural land which is used to ‘support the Isle of Man’s food security’.

Residents also gave evidence again today saying that they utilise several areas in the north.

Giving evidence, one said: 'I go to Glen Mona church and I go to the dentist in Laxey. I regard my friends in Ramsey as close but I’m not in their community and they’re not in mine.'

Another resident said: 'I think a lot of people who live here have a heart for where they live, and a concern for where they live, and don’t want it overridden by something that isn’t quite right.'

Western Boundary The issue of the western boundary was also considered – this includes the other part of Jurby Road and the Mountain View Innovation Centre, which is currently in Lezayre.

Written evidence, submitted by the owner of the centre, said it remains an ‘established and committed’ part of the parish.

However, Ramsey Commissioners says it wants to bring it into the new Ramsey boundary because ‘many people’ view the site as being part of the town and it would ‘regularise residents perceptions’.

The authority adds that land around some housing on Jurby Road is the ‘only developmental area in the Ramsey area’ but it currently sits in Lezayre.

Chair of Lezayre Commissioners, Mr Teare, added that the ‘most important’ housing development in the area was an application made by Dandara on the Lower Milntown Estate which was refused.

He added there had been no development in this area of Lezayre since the last boundary extension proposal in 1992 and no land has been put forward in the North and West Area Plan.

Jurby Road

Both Jurby Road residents who spoke at the inquiry maintained that they live in a low-density estate, in a countryside area, which is not part of an urban town.

Advocate Oliver Helfrich, representing one of the residents, said Ramsey Commissioners seem to have taken a ‘if we say it is the case, it is the case’ stance.

Mr Hafrick added he’s seen ‘no evidence’ that his clients see themselves as part of Ramsey.

The other resident added that he would feel cut off from his neighbours if the extension was granted because the road would be split and would ‘lose’ his community.