A Ramsey commissioner says it’s good the issues with empty and dilapidated buildings are being discussed.

Juan McGuinness says the problem hasn’t been pushed in Ramsey but that he is unsure whether a rates increase  is the answer.
It follows Jason Moorhouse’s motion to Tynwald which says the owners of the uninhabitable properties should pay 20% ‘compounded’ rates to try to encourage development.

Mr McGuinness said: ‘Obviously derelict and dilapidated properties are an issue in every town and village of the Isle of Man. ‘And what to do about that, how to encourage those properties to be brought up to standards for the good of the Isle of Man is a good question.

He added: ‘So whether [a] 20% rate increase is the right answer, I don’t know, but it’s really good to see that being discussed [and] debated, and hopefully we can go forward with something that does actually make an impact on the sort of ruinous properties around the island’.

Asked whether he had noticed this being a specific issue in Ramsey, the commissioner replied: ‘I think Ramsey, like every town on the island, has a small number of properties that bring the area down due to their unoccupied state.

‘The reasons why that is can be numerous.

‘Often it’s perhaps due to the lack of ability to invest from the land owners.’

The Peveril Court Building, re-christened 'Bleak House', Mooragh promenade, Ramsey (Johnston Press)

He continued: ‘So whether you will actually encourage people to improve their properties by increasing the rate is unsure, but it certainly would be better than allowing them currently to simply pay nothing at all and have less overheads for leaving their property in ruins.’

Mr Moorhouse’s suggestion that dilapidated properties should be subject to rates featured on the front page of the Isle of Man Courier on June 2.