Plans for a multimillion pound office, retail and hotel complex on an unoccupied urban site in the Isle of Man’s capital has been approved by planners.

The development on the Villiers site on Douglas Promenade is set to be one of the first projects to benefit from the Island Infrastructure Scheme, which will provide 25% of the build costs.

The 80-bedroom hotel by Tevir Properties Limited also includes leisure space and a civic square.

Unanimously backing the development, the planning committee said the development would “uplift” what was a prominent area.

The committee heard there had not been any significant development on much of the site, which also borders part of Ridgeway Street, for about 30 years. The development would comprise two buildings and a civic space.

The plans would see the office and retail complex built along the promenade, with the six-storey hotel set behind.

While questions were asked about the 50 parking spaces proposed for the size of the site, developers said it was intended to promote a sustainable office development that would allow a move away from the dependency on cars.

Facilities for electric vehicles and 57 bicycles were also included in the designs, they added.

While the red brick character of part of the building was commented on as not being in-keeping with other premises on the seafront, planners agreed it was akin to Victorian structures nearby.

Queries over any impact of proposed decorative lighting on the outside of the building were also set aside as the Douglas Promenade itself is illuminated by LED lighting.

The development was one of three announced last September as being approved for funding as part of a government scheme to promote the redevelopment of empty brownfield sites.

Chairman of the planning committee Rob Callister MHK said the development had the potential to “uplift the whole of that area” and was “our gateway to what people see when they come off the boat”.

Source: bbc.co.uk