A major seafront scheme has sparked complaints from residents and business owners – but only after it began.
The scheme, to develop Peel’s East Quay, got underway earlier this year, with timings agreed to avoid interrupting much of Sunset City’s tourism season.
When the scheme is finished, which is due to be before the summer next year, the whole quay will be redeveloped with pavements widened, roads relayed and the area being better accessible for all users.
At the time of the scheme’s submission for planning permission, there were no formal objections raised, with Peel Commissioners making only suggestions about areas to be looked at.
However, with the scheme now underway, residents and business owners have raised objections, namely that the town is losing nine parking spaces, that businesses will lose trade and that pubs won’t be able to receive deliveries from the brewery.
At the start of the meeting, a representative of the DoI said that when the plans were initially laid out and the application was submitted, there were no objections.
This didn’t sit right with many in the room, including Stephen Moore, owner of the The Old Bonded Warehouse, who pointed out that much of that was done during the summer of 2020.
Mr Moore said that while this was a time when businesses and people were more concerned with issues not relating to planning, but even when they did make comments on the plans, they were ignored.
He said: ‘When you did the first presentation, we all came, we all spoke and we made comments.
‘Now admittedly we didn’t put a full objection in, but we made comments to your team. But the fact of the matter is that the comments we made went nowhere, they were binned instantly.
‘You didn’t write anything down and adjust the scheme to the points that were made, all that was, similar to tonight is this what you’re getting and there was no concern about our points of view at the time.’
However, Mr Robinson said that many of these issues were looked at and changes were made to the scheme, including junctions that residents felt were unsuitable.
Mr Moore also asked whether there was an impact assessment done into the loss of parking on residents and businesses in the area.
Mr Thomas said: ‘In terms of parking, I am encouraged that with your MHKs and Peel Town Commissioners, because there is a 2013 Peel parking survey and through talking with Commissioners, we now know there is a consultation going on in Peel about dealing with larger vehicles and we talked together about how we can use Peel by-laws and national laws to help.
‘One of the recommendations of the 2013 survey was that more use could be made of some of the higher up car parks, so the town car park, which is closer to retailers and shopping areas.’
However, one business owner asked Mr Thomas about those who aren’t in the town and are based on the quay.
She said: ‘It’s not just about the town, the quay is thriving.’
She added the loss of parking near her business would make it more difficult for some customers with limited mobility, thereby damaging her business.
Mr Thomas accepted that he hadn’t been able to speak to all business owners on the quay, including the one in question, but said that he had been told by ones he had spoken to that they were pleased the work was being done.
The issue of parking was one that continuously came back round in the meeting, with Mr Thomas saying he remained open minded about possible solutions for Peel seafront and the East Quay.
Mr Moore noted that the 2013 survey offered up suggestions including adding a second storey to Douglas street car park and using the House of Manannan car park.
He told the DoI: ‘What you’re doing is in fact using the House of Manannan to replace the spaces you are stealing on the quay.’
Mr Thomas said that the local authority needs to look at what it is doing for parking, but restated that businesses had told him and DoI member Stu Peters MHK, that they welcomed the scheme.
Aside form parking, the evening also saw residents ask how The Peveril and The Creek pubs will be able to receive deliveries of beer.
The area outside The Creek will be fully pedestrianised, with the current corner, which is in effect a part of the road cordoned off, will be raised to pavement height, while the area outside The Peveril currently doesn’t have plans for a loading bay either.
Mr Robinson said that The Creek in particular hadn’t raised any concerns, but did recognise that The Peveril had and that this would be looked at going forward.