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Strategic Plan Published 28 June 2007

The Department of Local Government and the Environment is seeking Tynwald approval for the long-awaited Strategic Plan.

A process which began as long ago as May 2000 should be concluded in July when Environment Minister, John Shimmin, MHK, asks Tynwald to approve an Order made by the Department under Section 2 of the 1999 Town and Country Planning Act. If the Order is approved, the Strategic Plan will come into operation on August the 1st, twenty-five years to the day since the first all-Island development plan came into effect in 1982.

The Plan – subtitled “Towards a Sustainable Island” – has the following overall Aim:-

“To plan for the efficient and effective provision of services and infrastructure and to direct and control development and the use of land to meet the community’s needs, having particular regard to the principles of sustainability whilst at the same time preserving, protecting, and improving the quality of the environment, having particular regard to our uniquely Manx natural, wildlife, cultural and built heritage”.

This will be achieved by applying a strategy which includes 32 separate objectives, a spatial strategy, and numerous policies of both a general and detailed nature. The main thrust of all of these is Sustainable Development:- “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.

Whilst the Plan does not address or identify specific development sites, it does make provision for 6000 additional dwellings over the Plan period. This period commenced in 2001, when the first Draft Plan was published, and runs until 2016. The number of “additional” dwellings thus includes some which have already been approved and built, and also includes those created by conversion.

These dwellings will be distributed around the Island as follows:

o North 1,200

o South 1,300

o East 2,500

o West 1,000

o All-Island 6,000

Once the Strategic Plan is in place, the Department will commence the preparation of Area Plans, starting with the South and then the East. This process will include examination of specific sites, seeking to accommodate the required housing and other community needs, whilst at the same time complying with the policies of the Strategic Plan which are intended to safeguard our beautiful environment.

Mr. Shimmin has expressed his delight at being able to bring forward such a comprehensive plan, and his gratitude to all those who have responded to the various consultations, attended the Inquiry, or in any other way contributed to the Plan. He indicated that, whilst the process has been long, he thought it had been successful in terms of obtaining useful and imaginative ideas for improving the Plan; providing an opportunity to resolve differences; and increasing general awareness of the content.

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