The Salvation Army’s move out of Douglas was given the go ahead by planners who approved its move to Braddan.

The church submitted an application (19/01422/C) for the change of use of the former Red Cross headquarters, at Isle of Man Business Park, which it has recently purchased.

It wants to change the use of an existing storage area, drivers’ mess and manager’s office to create additional offices, lounge and general purpose room.

The Red Cross announced its decision to sell its base after several unsuccessful bids for government contracts, which included the controversial awarding of the patient transfer contract to Bus Vannin.

Since it moved out of the citadel in 2017, the Salvation Army has been based out of the former Fairfield School on Tynwald Street.

In that time, it has abandoned plans to rebuild its Lord Street citadel and closed its nursery which it had run for over 30 years.

In the proposal, the Salvation Army said the citadel was ’no longer fit for use’ and the cost of rebuilding it had ’escalated by over 70%, making it uneconomic and outside the resources of the charity’.

It said the citadel suffered from limited parking or drop off spaces, and that despite a two-year search, it could not find a suitable alternative location in central Douglas.

Head of development management at the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture, Stephen Butler said ’the overall proposed use is not significantly different from the existing use’. ’And it is noted that there is a mix of interlinked uses on the site and the unique operational requirements of the applicant may mean that finding a more centrally located site may be difficult. It is therefore considered that cumulatively the proposal is acceptable’, he added.