Manx Independent, April 18, 2019

Onchan Commissioners have expressed their ’disappointment’ with Environment Minister Geoffrey Boot over his denying their appeal.

Mr Boot refused to overturn principle planning permission awarded for an 80-bed care home on King Edward Road, despite the recommendation of the planning inspector.

The commissioners highlighted the inspector’s support for their view that the plans were contrary to the Onchan Local Plan 2000.

A statement attributed to the lead member for environmental and technical services Derek Crellin said: ’We are extremely disappointed by the minister’s decision to completely disregard established planning policies set out in the Onchan Local Plan and does not appear to have been environmentally friendly.

’The planning appeal process is at a cost to Onchan ratepayers and that the planning fee of £175 and officers time should be reclaimed from the department.’

This is the second time in as many weeks that Onchan politicians have criticised Mr Boot’s decision after Onchan MHK Rob Callister told Isle of Man Newspapers that politicians had to be ’careful overruling individual inspectors we bring in for their advice and opinion’

He added: ’And I have to question the purpose of reviewing applications if a minister or political members are going to overrule that independent advice.’

In a statement to the House of Keys, Mr Boot said he had only disagreed with an inspector’s advice in seven of the 116 planning applications he has ruled over since becoming minister in 2016.

He added: ’Clearly any decision that runs contrary to an inspector’s recommendation is one that I do not take lightly, especially when the appellants are the local commissioners and there are also public objections.’

Source: IoMToday