Garff Commissioners are eagerly awaiting Manx Utilities update on its plans for Laxey and Baldrine’s sewage works.

Manx Utilities posts a fortnightly update on the schemes in the east and west of the island.

The local authority, which covers Maughold, Laxey and Lonan, said its members ‘look forward with great interest to the release this Wednesday’.

It added: ‘It is hoped that more detailed information regarding locations and infrastructure will be included in the statement. This will come after many months in which details of the plans have been withheld by MU due to the sensitivities of the ongoing land negotiations.

‘The commissioners met with the chair of Manx Utilities, Mr Tim Johnston MHK, in early December 2022. At this meeting Mr Johnston provided some limited information on the progress of negotiations and also on the infrastructure that will be required at the various sites in Laxey and Lonan.

At this stage the site of the actual ‘combined sewerage treatment plant’ has not been released.’

The combined cost for works in the east and west is £40.5m, with Laxey and Baldrine being the more expensive of the two.

No planning application has yet been submitted for either site or any additional infrastructure.


The board has also provided its minutes from that meeting which are as follows:

Meeting with MUA chairman, Mr Tim Johnston.

Garff Regional Combined Sewerage treatment scheme.

Mr Johnston, the chairman of Manx Utilities, introduced himself and two senior officers from Manx Utilities.

He referred to the commissioners’ request for information regarding the location of the proposed combined sewage treatment plant in Lonan.

He advised that as negotiations had not concluded he was unable to provide the information requested at this stage. He stressed the sensitivities involved and the need to maintain the integrity of the negotiations and ‘safeguard’ the landowner.

Stan Ryza [chairman of Garff Commissioners] suggested that this position was not helping the authority as in the absence of information a vacuum had been created which had caused public speculation. The length of time the negotiations were taking was also a source of frustration for members.

Tim Woakes, head of sewerage at Manx Utilities, an acknowledged these aspects, but added that this was the only course of action MU could take and the process had gained momentum in July when Tynwald approved additional funding.

A member stated that, in this circumstance, the general perception was that MU was not being open and that the candour of the authority was being questioned by the public and board members.

The representatives from MU were questioned further a range of other associated matters.

These matters included: a perception that the information being communicated in the bi-weekly announcements was limited; that the desire of the public and the Best4Laxey group for the ‘pump to Meary Veg’ option had not been effectively investigated; the potential for cost increases the rejection of the proposal to extend the outfall pipe; the number of storm spills that would take place; and bathing water quality.

The officers from MU briefly responded to these concern, adding that these matters and all the options had been considered and debated previously with the commissioners.

The representatives from MU stated that the option for combined treatment in Lonan was the will of Tynwald and the situation had now moved on.

Mr Woakes then passed round preliminary drawings for the pumping and other plant that would be installed at the Cairn site and at Garwick.

MU had bought the whole Garwick estate, but only needed a small portion and would dispose of the rest of the Glen in due course. Mr Woakes advised that these preliminary drawings could be made public on MU’s website.

MU committed to setting up a meeting with the UK based project consultant in the New Year. 

Mr Ryza thanked the representatives for attending the meeting.

They left the meeting at 7.32pm.