Peel Commissioners says it will be filing objections to the draft North and West Area Plan over concerns about the amount of housing proposed for the town.

The local authority believes there are ‘major changes’, which include changing agricultural land on the outskirts of Peel to ‘predominantly’ housing, while building a minimum of 1,253 new properties in this area.

Commissioner and former government minister Ray Harmer says the new plan could mean an extra 3,500 people in the town, with the extra land zoned for housing, but nothing for employment or tourism.

He says there are lots of questions the draft plan needs to answer about why this amount of housing is needed.

Mr Harmer said: ‘We're deeply concerned because using the round figures, 35.8 hectares times a minimum density of 35 dwellings per hectare gives an absolute minimum of 1,253 additional properties in the town.

‘If you multiply that by the number of people, you're looking at an absolute minimum of around 2,500 to 3,000 more people. The big issue here is that this wasn’t on the initial plan.

‘It's very confusing as to why such a large and significant change has been done, in what should be a very considered and thought-through process.

‘There's nothing about doctors, schools, or any of those really important issues. To simply earmark an area with the potential of 1,400 houses without actually making provision for them in terms of schools, hospitals, doctors and other community services is irresponsible.

‘I really think that this isn't something that should go to inquiry. What should actually happen is they should go back to the original draft plan without this sizable change.’

Reporting from Emma Draper