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:
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 email@example.com
Paul Weatherall, Chair, Liberal Vannin firstname.lastname@example.org