The Manx government has unveiled a new trial scheme to make the island’s planning system ‘easier and more accessible’.

The scheme, announced today, is part of the Built Environment Reform Program, which aims to improve the landscape of built-up areas of the island and to help build communities.

Under the trial, which will be run by the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture, people making larger and more complex applications will receive more help at the beginning of the process to minimise issues at a later stage, when they could cost more or waste time.

There will also be a customer charter published, which will establish a set of standards for the government, and a public survey to gauge residents’ feelings about the services currently offered.

The survey feedback will be used to develop the customer charter and allow the government to see what issues the public are most concerned about.

Clare Barber MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, said:  ‘This government has set an ambitious goal to improve the quality of our built environment and build great communities.

’The launch of a trial for a major applications process, customer charter and survey are the start of bold action to ensure our built environment is both sustainable and capable of delivering economic and social value.

’I encourage all those involved in the planning system, the public and our stakeholders to provide feedback as part of the survey, as it will be invaluable in informing our work.’

Building great communities is one of five priorities set out in the government’s Island Plan.