Onchan Local Plan:
5.1 The Issues and Options document clarified that there are only two areas within Onchan where industrial development is encouraged these being land at Tromode and land off School Road behind Dowty Aerospace.
5.2 The Tromode Site, known as Clucas' Laundry has been slowly developing and changing for some time. There still remain some undeveloped plots at the rear of the site, close to the dam and some undeveloped land at the entrance for which approval has recently been granted in principle for the erection of industrial buildings (PA 98/0644). Whilst there are areas within the site which could be greatly improved in visual terms, the site owners have recently embarked upon an improvement scheme, removing unsightly structures at the entrance to the site. The site has the distinct advantage of having a heavy mature tree cover throughout the site and a position in a valley both of which help screen any development and activity from general view.
5.3 Whilst the existing estate sits very comfortably in its location, further development is limited by physical constraints: the dam forms the northern limit of the land which may be developed and the dam itself is of interest to nature conservation (see Section 11 - Nature Conservation). The estate is otherwise contained with the Onchan District boundaries and development outside of these boundaries is more appropriately dealt with elsewhere (i.e. the Braddan and Douglas Local Plans). In any case, on the eastern side there is already residential development built up to the boundary with the estate: the only opportunity for expansion of the estate is on the opposite side of the River below the former abattoir. This is situated within Braddan Parish and has been the subject of a planning application (PA 98/0391).
5.4 The School Road or Dowty site (Area 15) represents some seven acres all of which was previously zoned for industrial use. However, the 1989 Onchan Local Plan recommended that the zoning of this land for industrial purposes should be reassessed in due course with re-designation to accommodate other uses or forms of development. It is now considered appropriate to reassess this zoning and Dowty Aerospace has indicated through the Issues and Options document that not all of the site is required for industrial purposes. However, the Department is conscious of a general scarcity of industrial land in the local plan area. In addition the Department is concerned that there are physical constraints on the development of the land for residential purposes: for example, a new access would have to be provided to the site and this would necessitate the widening of Ashley Road. There is also a large bank alongside the lower end of Ashley Road which presents problems in that this would either need to be removed or would take up a significant part of the site. Also, dwellings, particularly on the upper part of the site would be very visible from Ashley Road which is relatively rural at this point and marks a gentle transition between the built up part of the village and the generally rural district. As such, in order to avoid the under-provision of land for industrial purposes, the Department has confirmed the designation of the 1989 Plan which permits the use and development of the land for industrial purposes (see paragraph 4.27) a conclusion with which the Inspector concurs. The Department would particularly welcome the use of the site or part of the site for a car park for heavy goods vehicles.
5.5 Due to the proximity of many residential properties, it is important that any future industrial development should not result in adverse impact on these dwellings through the creation of noise, excess traffic, dust or smells. It will therefore be appropriate to specifically limit the general zoning of the site to light industrial (see paragraph 5.13) as is defined in the 1982 Development Plan Order.
5.6 Whilst the Department of Trade and Industry has indicated that where land is removed from industrial designation this should be compensated for by designating land elsewhere in the area, this is difficult to achieve in an area where development opportunities in general are difficult to establish. As such, the Department would not encourage the introduction of new industrial development outside of those areas designated for industrial use on the Proposals Map. One exception to this may be the introduction of lorry and heavy goods vehicle parking in the outlying areas where such could be adequately screened from public view and where access is acceptable.
5.7 There are various industrial outlets situated outside of the areas designated for industrial use on the Proposals Map - the garage building on Little Mill Road, the industrial buildings behind Kerrowcoar Drive etc. Uses such as these can be accommodated satisfactorily within areas zoned for other uses: however, in some cases, such as the garage on Little Mill Road the visual impact of the building can be inappropriate and in others the impact through traffic and noise can be offensive and inconvenient to nearby residents. As such, where industrial uses are located within areas not zoned for industrial use, these will be taken as non-conforming uses and planning applications which seek to intensify the use or invest in the built structure and thus perpetuate the non-conforming use, may be refused.
5.8 One of the predominant industries within the study area is agriculture, based on the rural hinterland which surrounds Onchan village. The Department recognises the contribution which farming makes to the management of the countryside and in this respect it will not oppose the development of new buildings which are necessary in terms of a viable agricultural holding and where these new buildings do not adversely affect the character or appearance of the countryside. In order to minimise the visual impact of such buildings, new agricultural buildings should be located in amongst or close to existing agricultural buildings and finished in a dark colour (dark green or dark brown). Permission will not normally be granted for new buildings in isolated locations unless these are hidden from general public view.
5.9 The Department of Transport currently operates a depot near to the Glen Dhoo camp site. This site is clearly visible and whilst the Department does not oppose the use of the site for the purposes to which it is currently being put, it would strongly recommend that the site is screened from public view by the introduction of a tree planting scheme. It should also be noted that the site is not zoned for general industrial use and its designation reflects the existing situation. The Department of Transport has suggested however that this area would be suitable for a heavy goods vehicle parking area and that if this is pursued this could result in a link being formed with the Department of Transport depot and the existing access onto the TT course closed off and a new access formed to serve both. The Department is aware, however that the use of this site for such purposes could result in a significant visual impact within the surrounding area and any proposal for the introduction of a heavy goods vehicle park must be accompanied by a tree and shrub planting scheme which will or will in time screen the proposed use from public view.
5.10 The following policies on industrial development are considered appropriate for the Onchan Local Plan area:-
5.11 NO INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT WILL BE PERMITTED OUTSIDE THOSE AREAS DESIGNATED FOR INDUSTRIAL USE ON THE PROPOSALS MAP WITH THE EXCEPTION OF HEAVY GOODS AND LORRY PARKING FACILITIES WHERE SUCH ARE NOT VISUALLY UNACCEPTABLE AND WHERE ADEQUATE ACCESS CAN BE PROVIDED TO THE SATISFACTION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT.
5.12 EXISTING INDUSTRIAL USES TAKING PLACE IN AREAS NOT ZONED FOR INDUSTRIAL PURPOSES WILL BE DEEMED NON-CONFORMING AND WHERE THE USE AND/OR THE STRUCTURES CONCERNED ARE CONSIDERED TO BE INAPPROPRIATE FOR THE AREA IN WHICH THEY ARE SITUATED, PLANNING APPLICATIONS WHICH SEEK TO OR RESULT IN PERPETUATION OF INDUSTRIAL USAGE OR INVESTMENT IN BUILDINGS OR STRUCTURES WHICH THEMSELVES ARE CONSIDERED INAPPROPRIATE, MAY BE REFUSED.
5.13 WHERE LAND IS DESIGNATED FOR INDUSTRY, THE ACCEPTED USE OF THIS LAND WILL BE FOR LIGHT INDUSTRIAL PURPOSES AS IS DEFINED IN THE 1982 DEVELOPMENT PLAN ORDER: THAT IS
"light industrial building (not being a special industrial building in which the processes carried on or the machinery installed are such as could be carried on or installed in any residential area without detriment to the amenity of the area by reason of noise, vibration, smell, fumes, smoke, soot, ash, dust or grit or undue generation or traffic or parking of vehicles". (Part 1, paragraph 2 - page 2).
5.14 WHERE NEW INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT IS PROPOSED IT MUST BE DEMONSTRATED TO THE SATISFACTION OF THE PLANNING COMMITTEE THAT THE PROPOSED USE (BY VIRTUE OF THE USE AND THE BUILDINGS TO BE USED) WILL NOT RESULT IN ADVERSE IMPACT ON ADJACENT LAND: THIS INCLUDES BOTH HUMAN NEIGHBOURS AND AREAS OF WILDLIFE INTEREST. PROPOSALS FOR NEW INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT MUST ALSO INCLUDE SUFFICIENT OFF ROAD PARKING AND MANOUEVRING SPACE FOR STAFF AND DELIVERY VEHICLES.
5.15 WHERE THE DEPARTMENT IS PERSUADED THAT THERE IS SUFFICIENT AGRICULTURAL NEED TO JUSTIFY NEW AGRICULTURAL BUILDINGS, SUCH SHOULD BE LOCATED IN AMONGST OR CLOSE TO EXISTING AGRICULTURAL BUILDINGS AND BE FINISHED IN DARK COLOURED MATERIAL (DARK GREEN OR DARK BROWN). PERMISSION WILL NOT NORMALLY BE GRANTED FOR BUILDINGS IN ISOLATED LOCATIONS EXCEPT WHERE THESE CANNOT BE SEEN BY THE PASSING PUBLIC INCLUDING VIEWS FROM PUBLIC FOOTPATHS.
5.16 THE DEPARTMENT WOULD STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT A SCHEME OF TREE PLANTING IS INTRODUCED AT THE EARLIEST OPPORTUNITY AT THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT DEPOT OPPOSITE HILLBERRY CORNER IN ORDER TO SCREEN THE FACILITY FROM PUBLIC VIEW.