A four-screen cinema, restaurants and new apartments could be built on the site of a former car park in Douglas.

Retail units, leisure facilities and ‘state of the art’ offices also form part of the ‘ambitious’ plans for the North Quay site.

The scheme, earmarked for the former Borough of Douglas pay and display car park on Lord Street, has been put forward by Ramsey based company Wyyttavin Limited.

A spokesperson for Wyyttavin Limited said: ‘We are delighted to be submitting these ambitious plans for one of the most important brownfield sites in the island.

‘Our key goal is to transform the site by creating an architectural landmark of stature and elegance within a high-quality, sustainable urban setting for the benefit of the resident community and visitors alike.

‘In terms of quality, we are aiming for a world-class standard across all of the mixed-use facilities and services being provided within the development.’

As part of the plans, five new bus stands each with a waiting area will be placed on the site, replacing the current Lord Street bus shelters.

An indoor bus information centre which will include seating, toilets, heating and changing facilities will also form part of the facilities for bus passengers.

3D design plan of the new Lord Street development
3D design plan of the new Lord Street development (Wyyttavin Limited)

A total of 85 apartments made-up of a mix of one, two and three bedroom units will form part of the scheme as well as car park with 91 parking spaces for residents.

‘Our proposed project would create considerable new quality living accommodation, similar to successful brownfield regeneration schemes found in most major UK urban centres,’ added the Wyyttavin group spkesperson.

‘These proposals are created to specifically appeal to economically active people who want to make Douglas city centre the place they want to live, work and socialise. The plans should act as a catalyst for further investment in Douglas, assisting in creating vibrancy around the city and a more dynamic offering during the day and night-time, seven days a week and all year round. ‘This is a development intended to support and enhance the community; a vibrant place to meet and socialise, and a location from which to travel across the island from the new, modern bus network hub.

‘We have worked hard to ensure that our proposed development aligns with the Isle of Man Government’s strategic objectives to deliver a secure, vibrant and sustainable future.’

The Lord Street site was bought by ‘Lord Street Development SPV Limited’, a firm headed by island businessman Stephen Bradley, from the government’s Department of Infrastructure back in 2017.

Lord Street Development SPV Limited has now signed a deal to sell the site to Wyyttavin Limited if the project gets planning permission.

If the scheme gets the go ahead from planners, the site could be up and running in two years.

A spokesman for Wyyttavin Limited said it has been in talks with the Isle of Man’s planning representatives and related government departments about the plans over the last 12-months.

3D design plan of the new Lord Street development
3D design plan of the new Lord Street development (Wyyttavin Limited)

‘We have listened and have factored their advice and input into our final draft scheme,’ he added.

‘We are delighted that there are other projects proposed for lower Douglas brownfield sites.

‘We feel that this is an exciting time to be making a significant investment into the island.

‘The totality of all the new quality sustainable buildings and their range of facilities will not only enhance Douglas city centre but will also directly support the Isle of Man Government’s drive to deliver its stated ambitions for the future of the island.’

Tim Johnston MHK, Minister for Enterprise, commented: ‘I welcome these ambitious plans for the redevelopment of Lord Street, which seek to transform and rejuvenate this site in lower Douglas into a vibrant space for residential, leisure and commercial facilities.

‘Through the Island Infrastructure Scheme, I am pleased that we have been able to provide support in principle to this development, in addition to the previous three, designed to stimulate and accelerate the development of privately owned and unoccupied brownfield sites into buildings which contribute to the economic growth, prosperity, vibrancy, and sustainability of the Island.

‘Since the initial announcement last year, I am pleased to see the progress the first three developers have made, with Tevir Group receiving full planning permission for Villiers Square which is now progressing to the delivery phase in the coming months and planning in progress for their Ocean Castle development as well as Dandara’s Lake Road development.’

3D image of the plans for Lord Street from Douglas Harbour Bridge
3D image of the plans for Lord Street from Douglas Harbour Bridge (Wyyttavin Limited)

Dr Alex Allinson MHK, Treasury Minister, added: ‘Through funding from the Economic Strategy Board, we are supporting and incentivising private sector investment into our island, aligning to the ambition to see £1bn invested over the long term, which in turn will allow us to further create an environment that is vibrant, sustainable, and attractive for all.

‘This support for private sector investment is a key aspect of this government’s regeneration approach, complementing the direct efforts of the publicly owned Manx Development Corporation (MDC), which is advancing plans for government-owned brownfield sites and contributing to the overall revitalisation of brownfield sites across our island.

‘This further announcement is a significant milestone in regenerating brownfield sites into new developments and reflects the core principles of the Island Plan, aiming to build strong communities and ensure a more secure, vibrant, and sustainable future for the Isle of Man.’