Liberal Vannin - Area Plan for the North & West


Media Release – April 26 th, 2021

Focus on Ayre & Michael

Liberal Vannin are holding a public meeting on Wednesday, May 19 th at 7.00pm in Sulby

Community Hall to consider the current consultation on the proposed Area Plan for the

North and West. The meeting will focus on issues relating to the Ayre & Michael

Constituency which straddles the North and West sections of the Area Plan. Details of the

government consultation can be found at:

Area Plan for the North and West – Preliminary Publicity - Cabinet Office of the Isle of Man

Government - Citizen Space

We have some initial comments on the Area Plan as it affects Ayre & Michael, detailed

below, but the purpose of the meeting is to discuss issues with local residents and

encourage people to respond to the consultation. Paul Weatherall, Chair of Liberal Vannin

and the local party representative for the Ayre & Michael constituency has drawn together

the following observations:

As noted in the documentation, the perceived need for no additional housing will have to be

reviewed during 2022/23 in the light of 2021 census data.

Growing numbers of people are choosing to work from home for part or most of the

working week. This may lead to a need to rethink requirements for development in villages

if more people are at home during the working day. This may also impact on requirements

for active transport and bus and private commuter travel estimates may need to be

reviewed. Residents of Douglas and Onchan may seek to relocate to live and work from

home in the North and West which offers more affordable housing in what many would see

as a more amenable environment.

Government should consider relocating government departments from Douglas to the

North and West Area and the Area Plan needs to take such proposals into account.

It is noted that the Area Plan will seek to agree settlement boundaries; in particular,

proposals to extend the boundaries of Ramsey into Lezayre may be considered. This may

have knock on consequences for the boundaries of the Ayre and Michael constituency.

Settlement boundaries must also take into consideration the coastal erosion from Kirk

Michael to Jurby and from the Point of Ayre to Ramsey.

It is unclear from the consultation documents what the term “Mixed” development includes

or excludes. Guidance on this would be welcome.

Desired outcomes from the plan include:

 To focus appropriate development within and adjacent to the main settlements in

accordance with the settlement hierarchy - Service Centres: Peel, Ramsey (neither of

which are in the Constituency); Service Villages: Andreas, Jurby, Kirk Michael;

Villages: Ballaugh, Bride, Sulby

 To facilitate the delivery of a range of housing, sufficient in number with improved

design standards (including improved insulation and non-reliance on fossil fuels for

heating), to meet the Area’s needs;

 To support existing established employment areas and provide for a mix of

additional employment land;

 To recognise and build upon the tourism opportunities the Area offers in respect of

its coastal scenery, farmed countryside, moorland, offshore marine life,

archaeological heritage, iconic sections of the TT course, including: Sulby reservoir,

Ayres National Nature Reserve, Ballaugh Curraghs, nature reserves at Close Sartfield

and Cronk-y-Bing, Curraghs Wildlife Park, Areas of Special Scientific Interest at Jurby

Airfield and the Ayres, Ramsey Bay & West Coast Marine Nature Reserves, Andreas

Civil War fort, Norse crosses;

 To ensure that all new development avoids adverse environmental impact and is

resource efficient to maintain sustainable growth of the Area;

 To safeguard and reinforce the distinctive character of the various settlements;

 To make best use of existing infrastructure and secure new or improved

infrastructure as part of new development sites;

 To build upon the excellent opportunities for communities to access good quality

open space and space for recreational purposes, including greater promotion of the

public swimming pools at Peel and Ramsey;

 To enhance accessibility and connectivity to and from key services between


 To encourage appropriate use of previously developed land;

 To consider the three identified sites in the constituency for onshore wind turbines

at Ballacooiley, Cronk and Jurby

 To support the development of one or more solar farms on brownfield sites in

Andreas or Jurby, or on unproductive agricultural land that is unsuitable for housing.

 Provide greater incentives for farmers and landowners to protect woodland and

hedgerows and extend them where appropriate on the least productive land, whilst

conserving moorland peat reserves.

 Extend the improvements to the former Northern Railway line as an active travel

corridor from Kirk Michael to the Curraghs Wildlife Park – including works to widen

and strengthen the footbridge over the river at Ballaugh.

 Improve signage and maintenance of the Raad-ny-Foillan / Way of the Gull coastal

footpath and Millennium Way trail.

 Review the Kirk Michael Conservation area, taking note of the recent listing of the

Mitre public house, one of the oldest, if not the oldest, on the Island.

For further information, please contact:

Lawrie Hooper, MHK, Ramsey, Leader, Liberal Vannin 

07624 473478

Paul Weatherall, Chair, Liberal Vannin 

07624 479436