A Douglas councillor quizzed the housing and proerty committee about Westmoreland development this week in a private meeting at the council's meeting.

The meeting was held in private as negotiations between the Manx Development Corporation (MDC) and the council are continuing and the answers might affect the talks.

The Westmoreland Village scheme, which is the brainchild of the MDC, is to be submitted for planning permission later this month and has been the subject of public consultations to help the public better understand the development plans.

Councillor Stephen Pitts, who represents Douglas Central on the council, spoke to the Isle of Man Examiner before the meeting.

He said: ‘I never knew how many properties the council was getting or even if we were getting any properties until I went to the consultation.

‘I was also told why they were being built – to release other social housing so young families could move into the larger ones and senior people could move into the accommodation on Westmoreland Road.’

Cllr Pitts has previously voiced his concerns about the parking spaces available on the new complex and his issues with it persist.

He said: ‘It’s alright saying “people can walk to work” but what happens if you don’t?

‘What happens if you work in Onchan or Union Mills? Not everybody can live on site and walk to work, I’m sure they can’t.’

The new development does run along a well-serviced bus route and increased uptake on public transport is a part of the MDC’s plan to persuade people who do not drive to move into this complex. This is to reduce emissions.

As well as this, the development will have 103 parking spaces for residents.

Cllr Pitts, however, has fresh concerns with the development, including the land’s status as a brownfield site, which would allow the MDC to receive a discount on certain materials if the development went ahead.

He said: ‘It’s not technically a brownfield site. People are living there and they are going to demolish those [houses] and businesses.

‘It’s not technically a brownfield site until they’ve bought that property.

‘I’d have thought that there were other brownfield sites lying empty that should have been renovated before.

‘There’s one by St George’s church in St George’s Street, there’s one on Circular Road and Orry Street.’

The development is set to create 170 homes in the centre of Douglas and would be the focal point of a new ‘20-minute neighbourhood’ initiative that would see everything a person needs to live being within a 20-minute return journey.

The development also includes a community centre as well as 170 homes.

Cllr Pitts asked the council what the total cost of the properties would be, how would the properties be funded and over how many years.

The MDC has said that it has not publicly released the figure for the development and does not plan to.

The development would include a play area for the local children and Cllr Pitts also submitted questions about the materials used, the area of and the cost of the play area.

To read more about the development, click here.