Planners have now made their decision to refuse Dandara’s plans to redevelop the derelict Castletown Golf Links Hotel at Langness final.
Fort Island Developments Limited (part of the Dandara group) first made proposals in 2017 to build a four-star hotel with leisure and spa facilities, and 40 residential flats for the site.
Though the planning committee voted unanimously to reject the latest plans last month, planning committee chair Claire Christian said that a site visit should take place first before the ultimate decision was made.
Dandara previously had to amend its plans (17/01265/B) earlier this year after an initial recommendation by the committee to refuse them.
The plans was rejected on the grounds of the large development’s noise and the environmental impact.
Concerns about the long-term commercial viability of the hotel were also cited, with the planning director saying that the proposal ’appears to lack elements that would make it a quality destination hotel’.
The site of the former hotel, which closed in 2007 and has since fallen into an increasing state of disrepair, is situated in the Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI) of Langness Penninsula and next to the bird sanctuary on Fort Island.
Dandara was unavailable for comment on what it now planned to do with the site.
Tim Cullen, chairman of the Derbyhaven Residents’ Association (which had consistently opposed the plans), described the ending of the protracted planning saga as ’an excellent outcome’.
He also told the Manx Independent what must now happen going forward: ’We have long argued that, whatever the planning decision ended up being, the incredible hulk of the existing derelict hotel should be demolished without delay.
’We are in touch with Malew Parish Commissioners, who we hope will be able to act quickly, so we trust that Dandara will not appeal against the decision.
’The planning officers’ recommendation to the committee was so comprehensive in scope that it is hard to see how the decision might be reversed.
’An appeal would simply delay the inevitable demolition.’
He also voiced his concerns about a serious environmental risk from the building’s current condition.
’The original planning application four years ago noted the presence of asbestos in the derelict building,’ he explained.
’Thanks to intruders tearing out pipes, asbestos fibres have been released, enabling them to escape from the building to swirl around the south of the island, exposing us all to a serious health hazard.
’I pointed out a large window that was not boarded up during last week’s site visit by the committee, and Dandara’s planning director said he would have the plywood replaced right away.
’Nine days later it is still open to the wind.
’For the sake of our lungs, the building needs to come down.’
Potential options which he now saw included returning the site to nature, building an environmental education centre, or a smaller ’destination’ hotel.