Where is the evidence that our island needs high-density dwellings?

Taxpayer government-funded Manx Development Corporation proposes a mega project on existing community amenity land.

It aims to change the law in an unprecedented takeover of community common land.

Ballacloan School site is a community-owned resource and NOT for commercial developers.

They have taken parking lot used for 10 years and essential as level access parking for local community Kensington Medical Centre.

Quick Fit motors has had his essential motor services destroyed and faces bankruptcy even now with the botched poorly planned existing abandoned development (Independent January 26).

Was it incompetence that no independent survey was done before the project started?

Who approved the project completely unsuited to the site infrastructure?

The MDC is in a hole of its own making. Why should we trust them to keep digging?

The MDC’s dwelling and office plans for the area skirted by Westmoreland Road, Kensington Road and Demesne Road may not look out of place in say Manchester but here it demonstrates an egregious disregard for place and tradition.

The proposal has been referred to as a Pocket Residential Development (PRD). But PRDs should be compatible in scale and character with the surrounding residential areas.

The proposed featureless charmless multi story buildings with few balconies or personal outdoor space, having limited or no car parking for resident/visitor spaces.

The MDC propose one parking space for two flats. The norm is two for every one dwelling.

Even single aged residents need access for nurses and visitors like everyone else and have cars.

It is not in keeping with anywhere in Douglas.

We need open spaces, wide footpaths and separate fully connected cycle paths.

The NSC is hardly on the doorstep

What is special about designating it a ‘20-minute neighbourhood’? It is big city idea that here is just hype.

All that matters now is profit. Dwellings can be valued on the same basis as that of any other commodity. Commercial developers as well as our government will rub palms with glee IF this plan is approved.

Our way of life is being challenged and it feels like we have no say.

The quality of central Douglas life as well as the market value of homes are directly related to availability of on/off street car parking/permits.

Currently, the MDC proposal fails to provide adequate parking for each of its dwellings.

That will inevitably lead to friction over rights to surrounding on street parking. That in turn could trigger devaluation and saleability issues for adjacent neighbourhood homes.

I recall the North West News that followed the homeowners in central Manchester. In the face of heavy-handed developing they had to resort to the court to hold on to their way of life.

Who owns and maintains proposed Douglas enclave? Could it be sold off?

That is the final end of central Manchester flats development building rentals for profit.

They are held in offshore trusts for foreigners.

Until MDC has a proven track record on small projects, we cannot trust that they are working for us.

They seem to fall at hurdles that should have been identified before they start.

What about other under utilised dwellings doted about Douglas?

What is the MDC doing to help return them to active housing stock? They can be more easily integrated pocket developments.

This concentrated pocket living is not necessary here and now. Nor is it our way.

We are a time enough nation that can luxuriate in having space and freedom to flourish. New dwellings and green spaces, yes!, but done only in keeping with our way of life not profit only.

Nina Matthews

Tennis Road


This letter first appeared in the Isle of Man Examiner of January 31.

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