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Plans for temporary horse tram facility

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Plans have been submitted to erect a temporary building to serve as a tram shed and stables for the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway.

The Department of Infrastructure is seeking a short-term solution for the required storage, stabling and welfare facilities, as the existing building at Strathallan is in a poor state of repair and presents a risk to public safety.

Subject to planning approval, an industrial type unit will be installed on the car park area of the Summerland site. This would support the operation of the horse trams on a temporary basis while proposals are drawn up for a permanent facility.

At the July sitting of Tynwald, Members approved the Department’s plans to continue running the horse trams for the 2017 and 2018 seasons. The proposed package of measures included the transfer of ownership of the Strathallan tram depot to the Department from Douglas Borough Council.

The intention had been for the building to be refitted and repaired to enable its use as a temporary tram shed and stables. However, an inspection of the premises has highlighted significant structural issues. Engineers described the front wall as unsafe and recommended that the building be decommissioned as soon as possible.

Infrastructure Minister Ray Harmer MHK, said:

‘The amount of work needed to make the Strathallan depot structurally sound rules out a short-term fix. Any scheme would involve significant structural works at the very least and the cost would be prohibitive. We simply would not have time to design and progress the scale of repairs necessary to make the building operational in the timescale available.’

He added:

‘Subject to planning approval, the use of a temporary building will hopefully allow the Department to put in place suitable facilities for the start of the 2017 season. The intention is that any long-term solution would, if possible, still involve the sympathetic redevelopment of the existing Strathallan site.’

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