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Cabinet Office launches Strategic Plan review

Friday, 21 July 2023

Government has announced a full review of the Isle of Man Strategic Plan 2016. 

The Strategic Plan sets out the general policies for the development of and use of land across the Island. It is a key document when preparing Area Plans and other policy documents. It also plays a pivotal role in the determination of planning applications.

The Strategic Plan covers a range of overarching policies, such as: the location and distribution of future development, climate change requirements, renewable energy generation, town centres, recreational and open space, and employment land.

The Strategic Plan also sets the broad planning framework for housing - including location, design, layout, supporting infrastructure requirements and tackling the issues associated with satisfying the Island’s housing needs. 

The Island’s first Strategic Plan was approved by Tynwald in 2007. Aside from a partial review in 2016, the current Strategic Plan remains largely unchanged since it was originally adopted. This new Strategic Plan will set the high-level planning policy framework for the sustainable development of the Island, and align it with wider Government plans and policy.

Minister for the Cabinet Office, Kate Lord-Brennan MHK, said:

‘The Strategic Plan is the backbone of planning policy. Influencing development policies with this document will ensure they are suitable for the entire island, encompassing both built and natural environments. 

‘This is a significant step forward for planning in the Isle of Man, and provides an opportunity for us to better reflect our core strategic objectives, and meet the goals and aspirations of Our Island Plan and the Economic Strategy.’ 

As part of this process, the Cabinet Office has launched the Preliminary Publicity, which is the first statutory step in the preparation of a Development Plan and sets out the issues which the Draft Plan will deal with. It comprises a main consultation document and supporting evidence papers.

One such paper, The Island Spatial Strategy (ISS), has strategic significance and sits at the very heart of the Strategic Plan. Simply put, the ISS embodies the approach to attain a sustainable pattern of development across the Island.

Political member responsible for Planning Policy, Diane Kelsey MLC, said: ‘With such a significant review, it’s vital we consult widely and that the consultation gathers input and steer from the people, communities and businesses we serve. 

‘We would actively encourage anyone with an interest in the future of our Island and what it looks like over the next 20 years or so to participate in this consultation and make their contribution to this important document.’

The consultation period will commence on 21 July 2023 and run until 29 September. The consultation can be completed online at Alternatively, written comments can be emailed to or by post to Planning Policy, Cabinet Office, 3rd Floor, Government Office, Bucks Road, Douglas, IM1 3PN.

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