Plans for a major redevelopment project in central Douglas are being recommended for approval – despite concerns over a massive shortfall in proposed parking provision.

Manx Development Corporation, an arm’s-length company wholly owned by the taxpayer, has been busy buying up properties which it wants to demolish to make way for its ‘Westmoreland Village’ scheme.

The development, proposed for a site bordered by Demesne Road and Westmoreland Road, comprises 133 new homes split across apartments, townhouses, small blocks of flats and a senior living block.

MDC’s plans (23/00291/B), to be considered by the planning committee on Monday, also include a new scout hut/community pavilion, and refurbishment and extension of Crookall House as offices.

There has been a raft of objections to the proposals, with many describing it as ‘over-development’.

But the impact upon existing on-street parking is cited as one of the main concerns, with local residents saying it’s already difficult enough to find a parking space in the area.

A padlocked chain across the driveway of 40 Westmoreland Road, which has been sold to MDC

Under MDC’s proposals, a total of 89 car spaces and 241 bicycle parking spaces would be provided.

But the report by planning officer Steve Butler notes that this is a significant shortfall in parking spaces according to the government’s own Strategic Plan which generally would require 214 off-road parking spaces.

In response, the applicants say the development embraces the ‘20 minute neighbourhood/15 minute city’ principle of urban planning where residents have everything they need on their doorstep without having to rely on a car to get about.

Recommending approval of the scheme, the planning officer concludes: ‘It is considered while there will be a potential impact upon parking in the locality, the benefits of the proposal to develop this brownfield site outweigh the concern of lack of car parking provision on the site, especially given the alternative means of travel to and from the site which do not rely on private car.’

Mr Butler said the site is located within Douglas and is close to public transport links and has significant cycle provision.

He said proposal would meet the overarching aims of the Strategic Plan which seeks to promote sustainable development, reduce the need for travel and encourage means of travel other than by private car, in particular walking, cycling and public transport.

We reported in December that householders and businesses in an area earmarked for the Westmoreland Village project claimed they have been put under pressure to sell up.

Padlocked chains have been put across the driveways of properties on Westmoreland Road that have already been sold to MDC.

The company has spent some £2m buying up property to make way for the scheme before planning consent has even been approved.

Work is ongoing to redevelop the former Nurses’ Home, on the south west boundary of the site. This is being converted into 37 flats and a cafe for which MDC received planning consent in January last year.