A business owner claims the nurses’ home development on Westmoreland Road in Douglas has taken up to 90% of his business away and is at risk of closure should the project expand as suggested by the developers.
The housing development, set out by Manx Development Corporation (MDC), will be made up of 170 new homes and will stretch from the old nurses’ home to Crookall House, which is set to be re-imagined as office space.
The Manx Development Corporation is a commercial company whose main shareholder is the Isle of Man Treasury.
Andrew Malone, owner of the Quickfit garage on Demesne, spoke to the Manx Independent about the issues that the development has caused for his business, which is situated in the area where the suggested 133 new homes may be built.
He said: ‘They’ve not done me any favours. If we don’t have a place to move by April or May, my business is going to close.
‘They’ve built all this fencing here and, to be fair they have to secure the property but they’ve put all of this green fencing here so if people drive up Westmoreland Road, they can’t see that we’re here.
‘Our business has dropped 90% since they’ve started here, nobody can see it.
‘The signs on the front of my building cost me £10,000 and no one can see them.’
Mr Malone claims he was not notified of the development’s impact on his business until the later stages of the set-up.
He met MDC representatives as recently as Monday, January 23, to discuss the issue, however, the corporation said that it was unable to help Mr Malone.
He said: ‘I’ve asked them for assistance to either find somewhere to move to, as they know people in the government.’
Quickfit is one of a number of operating businesses currently in the development zone, with Ellan Vannin chiropractic clinic being another.
We approached the clinic for comment on the issue, however the owner didn’t get back to us before the Independent went to press.
Earlier this week, Douglas councillor Stephen Pitts voiced his concerns over the parking available at the site.
He said: ‘I like the idea of more homes in the city rather than on the outskirts, but it definitely needs a least one car parking space per unit.’
These concerns were also shared by Mr Malone, who thought parking in the area ‘was hard enough already’.
He said: ‘It’s a very nice plan but they’re not in the real world, everything that they are going for, we do need it, but they are not doing it the proper way.’
The managing director of MDC, Dane Harrop, said: ‘MDC has been, and is continuing to, work closely with the current property owners within the Westmoreland Village to make the transition as easy as possible for them and their tenants.’
MDC has said that it plans to have ‘a combination of surface and underground parking provisions’.
An MDC spokesperson said: ‘A large portion of the townhouses have dedicated off-street parking, there is basement parking below one of the main apartment blocks and street parking within the development.
‘As the island strives towards Net Zero by 2050 and looks to reduce our carbon emissions, we are hoping to provide those that choose to live in Westmoreland Village, the opportunity to go without a car, providing everything they need within a 10-minute round trip, easy access to public transport and sufficient bicycle parking for all.’
MDC is holding public consultations to answer any queries the public has on the development.
The consultations will be held tomorrow, Friday, January 27, from 3.30pm to 6.30pm and Saturday, January 28, from 11am to 3pm at the Douglas Lawn Tennis Club on Kensington Road.