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Programme of reform will help to build great communities for the Island

Tuesday, 19 July 2022

An ambitious programme of reform to help realise Government’s ambition of building great communities has been launched today by Chief Minister Alfred Cannan MHK.

In a statement to Tynwald the Chief Minister set out a series of actions Government will take in the short to medium term to deliver on its commitment to improve the Island’s built environment and quality of life.

Building great communities is one of five priorities the Government set out in the Island Plan.

The reform programme has four overarching objectives:

  1. Simplify access to the planning system

  2. Improve the planning process

  3. Align national planning policies, plans and strategies with the Island Plan

  4. Ensure attractiveness of brownfield development to help protect the Island's green fields, landscape and beauty

The Chief Minister said:

‘We have set an ambitious goal to improve the quality of our Island’s built environment and to deliver on that promise we need to take bold action. This programme of reform will help deliver a key priority for this Government, ensuring that our built environment is both sustainable and capable of delivering economic and social value.

‘The Programme, published today, acknowledges where we need to focus our efforts. It outlines improvements and innovations we intend to make to the Island’s planning system.  These include a trial for a major applications process, a new customer charter, and a publicly accessible performance dashboard.

‘In addition, we are also preparing a brownfield site development grant support scheme, and plans for an Island-wide regeneration strategy.’

The investment in the sustainable development of Government owned brownfield sites through the Manx Development Corporation and through changes to the First Time Buyer's Scheme are two examples of action to extract benefits for the wider community from the Island’s built environment.

The Chief Minister added:

‘Everyone can benefit from transforming unattractive wastelands and derelict buildings into appropriate, affordable, sustainable buildings for residential or modern commercial use.  In the process we can attract new businesses and enable existing businesses to grow and thrive.

‘The programme of work will ensure we continue to have an Island community where we are proud to live and proud to call home.’

The Built Environment Reform Programme can be viewed on the Cabinet Office's homepage. 

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