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Planning and Building Control

The Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture's Planning and Building Control Directorate has a wide role to play toward the aesthetic value and built structure of the Isle of Man.

Planning and Building Control has a positive and proactive role to play in building a dynamic and growing economy which also offers opportunities for all, whilst maintaining and building on the high quality of life enjoyed by our community, ensuring the efficient and responsible use of land, environmental and other physical resources and infrastructure. The aim is to create attractive and sustainable 'places' and an economy achieving long term growth, whilst improving the quality of life in the Isle of Man, by promoting the delivery of high quality development on the ground at appropriate locations which in turn creates vibrant and liveable places, which appeal to entrepreneurs and business and contribute to a more economically, socially and environmentally sustainable society. In doing so, this will be delivered within the context of the substantive planning policy framework of the Tynwald approved Development Plan under the Town and Country Planning Act 1999.

The Directorate's most recognised responsibility is to regulate all built development across the Island by monitoring all 14 Parishes (managed by 22 local authorities) with regards to planning permission, and for all island Building Control with exception to the local authorities Douglas and Onchan. The Directorate has wider functions as it is also responsible for recognition and protection of buildings of architectural merit and works with the Cabinet Office to designate areas worthy of conservation.

The assessment of all planning applications is governed by long established planning legislation, policies and procedures which have evolved on the Island over 70 years of application.

The primary legislation under which all planning applications are considered is the Town and Country Planning Act 1999 providing the basic planning framework on which all core policies and procedures rely. The Act is further supported by secondary legislation (upon which the finer planning practices and procedures are regulated and applied) along with agreed planning policies and circulars. These are all available to download from our library page.

The Act supports a core reference document on which all base planning policies are set down, the Isle of Man Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan is further defined by Area Plans which are more specific to a defined area. The co-ordination and development of both the Strategic Plan and Area Plans are managed by the Planning Policy Team, who are based in the Strategy, Policy and Performance Division of the Cabinet Office.

The primary legislation under which all Building Regulations applications are considered is the Building Control Act 1991 providing the framework on which all policies, regulations and procedures have been built. Its secondary legislation details the requirements of building regulations and codes of practice that are applicable on the Island. These are all available to download from our library page.

The definition of specified areas for conservation in planning terms is the responsibility of the Cabinet Office, whilst the register of protected buildings is maintained and managed by a dedicated team with the Directorate, in addition to the provision of technical advice on conservation matters.

The Isle of Man supports its own mapping service, for which the Department of Infrastructure Highways Services Division acts as custodian. Responsibilities include map survey, data licensing, GIS provision and commercial publishing.

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