Your Onchan


The Onchan District Commissioners consider all planning applications submitted to the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA), Planning Section that are relevant to the District of Onchan.  The Commissioners do not have the powers to approve or refuse planning applications. They are, however, classed as an 'Interested party' and as such are permitted to make comment to the Planning Authority.

The planning applications are presented to the Board of Commissioners for their determination and recommendations for approval or refusal, along with any conditions that are deemed appropriate to be imposed on the proposals, are forwarded to the Department.  Due to the deadline for submission to the Department, and the fall of the Board meetings, it is not always possible for public comments to be included in the presentation, and therefore Members may not always be aware of individual concerns. 

Onchan District Commissioners will consider the proposals in a planning application primarily against the Island Strategic Plan and the Onchan Local Plan. Both these documents specify planning policies to control development, such as land use zoning. Consideration is also given to representations made by consultees, (which may include other Government Departments, statutory bodies, interest groups and local authorities) along with any private representations from members of the public.  The Board will measure all these matters against the merits of the proposal. Their findings and recommendations are then presented in a formal submission to the Planning Committee.

As an 'Interested party' to planning applications the Commissioners are afforded the right to appeal planning decisions which are special to the Isle of Man planning process.  Appeals may be submitted against a decision of the Planning Committee within the timescale allowed.

Once a decision on a planning application has been made it will not become final until the period in which appeal may be lodged (21 days) has expired.  Onchan District Commissioners have the same consultation period as the general public and must therefore make their submission within 21 days.

Planning Applications

We receive many enquiries about the process for obtaining and objecting to planning applications. To aid your understanding we would like to offer the following information:-

Planning Permission

  • This is a function of the Planning Section of the DEFA (not Onchan District Commissioners)
  • Onchan District Commissioners will receive a copy of all planning applications relevant to the Onchan District.


  • All planning applications are advertised by the DEFA in the local press and a notice should be displayed on the site.

Viewing Plans

Anyone wishing to view the proposals can do so by either:-

  • attending the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture, Murray House, Mount Havelock, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 2SF; or
  • attending the Onchan District Commissioners Offices, Hawthorn Villa, 79 MainRoad, Onchan, IM3 1RD.


  • All comments/objections MUST be sent to the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture within 21 days for them to be registered.
  • If you wish, you can copy the Onchan District Commissioners in on any submission made.

Planning - Operational Policy for planning enforcement

As a member of the Planning and Building Control email contact group, and for your information, please be advised that the Department has recently endorsed an updated Planning Enforcement Operational Policy which is now available to view on line. 

For further information, please see: Planning Control

Useful documents:

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