The Isle of Man Government has today published an action plan to modernise the planning system and make it more dynamic, flexible and responsive.
The action plan, to be laid before the May sitting of Tynwald, sets out legislative changes and planning initiatives to be rolled out over the next three years.
Reform of the Island’s planning system is being progressed in line with the Programme for Government objective of supporting sustainable growth.
The need for change has been highlighted in planning reviews carried out on behalf of the Council of Ministers and by public feedback to a recent consultation.
The action plan published by the Cabinet Office captures proposals to better reflect Government priorities and to improve the speed, flexibility and effectiveness of the planning process.
It includes the introduction of National Policy Directives which, subject to Tynwald approval, could override the Development Plan to make the planning system more responsive to changing needs.
Other proposals feature the introduction of a Community Infrastructure Levy from 2020 to ensure new developments help to bring about wider economic, environmental and social benefits.
Work will also take place to make the planning system quicker and easier to use by introducing service improvements such as the online submission of planning applications.
Some of the proposed reforms will require changes to the Town and Country Planning Act, with new legislation scheduled to be introduced into the branches in the autumn following a public consultation.
Chief Minister Howard Quayle MHK said:
‘The planning system has a crucial role to play in maintaining the Isle of Man’s reputation as a special place to live and work. It can help to generate the economic prosperity and inward investment needed to create jobs for our people and to fund the public services we all rely on.’
‘There is a public appetite for planning reform and the political will in the Council of Ministers to make it happen. It is in all our interests to have a planning system that promotes our national priorities, while taking into account environmental and social considerations. We are committed to putting in place a system that provides the right level of regulation and certainty, that is proactive and that can clearly demonstrate its value to the public.’