In a joint statement issued today, the Minister for Policy and Reform, Minister Thomas MHK and the Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, Geoffrey Boot MHK, clarified the position regarding Interest Person Status in planning appeals.
Interested party status can be granted to someone who has a legitimate planning concern, lives within 20m of the application site (unless it is a development) and whether the land they own or occupy would be impacted by the development. These came into force as part of a new operational Policy in July 2018, following Tynwald's agreement in May 2018 that the Department undertake a range of procedural changes, which included the introduction of improved criteria regarding who is awarded 'Interested Person Status'. The policy applies to all new planning applications from July.
Minister Thomas said:
'We were told by businesses and individuals that the planning system took too long and was too bureaucratic, so we committed to make the changes set out in the Action Plan. Anyone has the right to submit comments and objections to planning applications, but local authorities have a vital role in this as they can object to planning applications as they have interested party status.'
Minister Boot added:
'Feedback that we received throughout the consultation highlighted that there needed to be a balance between getting on with development and ensuring that there was an ability for those with a legitimate and relevant planning concern to launch an appeal.
'We will be making further reforms to ensure that planning works for all those involved, allowing development but also protecting the rights of those that will be affected by it.'
The Isle of Man Government and local commissioners automatically have interested person status and Manx National Heritage has interested party status for registered building applications.
Full details of Operational Policy on Interested Person Status.