Plans for a smaller Derby Square mast

Saturday 6th August 2022 12:00 pm
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Douglas Council has applied for planning permission (22/00866/B) to replace the Derby Square mast after it was felled in October 2020 due to rot.

The overall height of the structure will be reduced by more than half, from 16.1 metres (53 feet) to 7.5 metres (24 feet).

The original weathervane will be refurbished and fitted to the top, but the replacement mast would be a tapered, steel six-metre column – significantly smaller than the original wooden one.

There will also be no need for permanent guide wires to secure the new column, unlike the old one.

Specifically, it had been removed in anticipation of strong forecasted winds which were feared to have posed the risk of toppling it.

iconic

In the mast’s absence, former councillor Betty Quirk had campaigned to have it ‘repaired or replaced with one of a similar size’, saying that residents in the area were ‘annoyed and angry’ over the loss of the ‘iconic’ Douglas landmark.

Douglas East councillor and member of regeneration and community committee Andrew Bentley said: ‘The original timber mast was taken down due to concerns about its degradation and safety in high winds.

‘Its reinstatement or replacement had been a source of much debate in both council and in Derby Square.

‘The reinstatement of the original was not practical as it was in two pieces, however, the mast’s weathervane was salvaged and restored.

‘The decision was made to return the weathervane to the centre of the square thus reinstating the focal point.

‘Whilst lower in height, the shorter metal mast will be easier to maintain and make the weathervane more visible whilst removing the need for the surrounding stays from the previous mast.’

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