Northern residents rally against land development

Caitlin Bennett
Around 80 people turned up to a demonstration to save Poyll Dooey [BBC]

Green campaigners have said they will not give up on land in the north of the island that developers want to build 200 homes on.

More than 80 people attended a demonstration opposing an appeal by Blythe Church Investments Limited to planners' rejection of the £40m Sulby Riverside development.

Ramsey Commissioner and leader of the Isle of Man Green Party Lamara Craine said: "I don’t want to see problem houses built over irreplaceable nature."

But the developers previously said the scheme could boost the town's "appeal as a place to live, work and visit".

The development, which proposed a mix of 205 semi-detached homes, townhouses and flats, as well as shops, parks and a pub, was refused in February due to concerns about the effects on local wildlife and the flood risk posed by the river.

Demonstrators carried signs and placards on a march to the site on Sunday, to voice their opposition before the deadline to oppose the appeal closed.

Ms Craine said: "Many people are concerned about the loss of this vital green belt in Ramsey, the damage this development would do to our Biosphere, and the impact it would have on Ramsey as a whole when flooding occurs on this site".

Sustainable development was a "key aim of the UNESCO Biosphere and sustainability is meeting the needs of today without compromising our ability to meet the needs of tomorrow", she said.

The developers have been approached for comment about the demonstration.

An artist's impression of the Sulby Riverside scheme
Proposals include housing, shops, parks and a pub [Blythe Church Investments Limited]

Lodging the appeal on behalf of the developers, consultants Bell Cornwell said its original application it had “provided evidence of thorough ecological surveys and proposed mitigation methods”.

The application had also included “robust flood defences, ensuring the safety of occupants and neighbouring communities”.

“Our appeal is grounded in the belief that the proposed development not only complies with the Development Plan but also incorporates advanced measures to mitigate environmental impact and ensure the safety and well-being of future residents,” it added.

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