Derek SewellProposals for a community hub comprising a café, bowling clubhouse and public toilets designed to regenerate part of a western promenade have been rejected by planners.

The application for permission in principle for an area of Marine Parade in Peel split the opinion of the planning committee and were ultimately turned down.

Concerns had been raised during the meeting that the designs did not cater to the needs of the wider community.

But Peel Commissioners said the indicative plans outlined the potential size of the development and the community room included would allow for a “variety of uses”.

The site at the northern end of Peel Promenade lies in an area designated for tourism in the Peel Local Plan and is currently home to two hard-surfaced tennis courts.

Peel resident Alistair Cubbon-Wood had called for the purpose of the site to be broadened to become a multi-purpose building so “the public money benefitted more local residents for more hours in the day”.

Local authority clerk Derek Sewell said the proposals aimed to “rejuvenate the location by replacing existing old, dilapidated buildings”, which were not able to be refurbished “economically”.

Representing the authority at the hearing, he said the board of commissioners believed a development of its type, where facilities could be “swapped in and out”, would create a hub for tourism and leisure in an “underused” part of the town.

The Planning Committee found the plans were contrary to the site’s tourism designation and highlighted a lack of detail about replacement facilities for a multi-sport area, which would see the tennis court move to the adjacent dilapidated BMX park area.

Planning Committee chairman, Rob Callister MHK, also questioned why a public consultation had not been carried out.

Mr Sewell said the rejection of the plans was “unfortunate” and it was now for the local authority’s board to decide whether to appeal the decision, or return with a detailed application.

Source: bbc.co.uk