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How should the South of the Island look in the future? 28 January 2008

RESIDENTS of the South of the Island are to be asked for their views on how the area should look in the future.

Their comments on where housing and other development should, or should not, be permitted will help to shape the Southern Area Plan, the first of four regional plans which will cover the whole Island.

The area plans (North, South, East and West) will add local detail to the high-level framework of policy guidance provided by the Isle of Man Strategic Plan, approved by Tynwald in July last year.

Preparation of the Southern Area Plan – taking in Malew, Arbory, Rushen, Castletown, Port Erin and Port St Mary – will begin soon with an information-gathering exercise including public views and comments.

There will be further consultation opportunities as the draft plan is developed before being considered by an independent public inquiry. The other area plans will start to be progressed in the meantime.

John Shimmin MHK, Minister for Local Government and the Environment, explained:

‘Covering all of the South of the Island in one plan should speed up the process of providing comprehensive planning guidance for the area. It will also enable issues to be explored across the whole of the area rather than looking at them in isolation.’

Minister Shimmin continued:

‘The Plan will set out a vision for the future of the South of the Island, affording protection where it is needed and guiding development to where it is most suited. The aim is to have a clear framework of policies and land allocations that will give certainty and confidence to all who have an interest in the South.
In order for the Isle of Man to continue to enjoy its high standard of living development needs to take place. There is also an identified need for housing in the South as there is elsewhere in the Island. The important thing is to make sure that this necessary development takes place in the right location, with the right level of service provision.’

He concluded:

‘Planning can affect homes, businesses and communities. It is therefore essential that the process of creating area plans takes a wide range of information and views into account, and provides opportunities for stakeholder input at each stage’.

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