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Cherry Orchard change from holiday to residential flats refused

Thu, 29 Aug 2019

By Ewan Gawne - Local Democracy Reporter
By Ewan Gawne - Local Democracy Reporter
The owners of the Cherry Orchard complex in Port Erin have failed in a bid to change the use of 25 flats at the site from ‘tourist’ to ‘residential’.
The planning committee rejected the application on Monday (26 August), claiming the applicant has not ‘fully demonstrated’ that the site is no longer commercially viable.
It was also turned down due to a lack of provision for public open space, lack of affordable housing, and being contrary to the current land designation.
Brothers Robert and Ian Gillings, who own the complex, believe the ‘general malaise’ of the industry and other factors mean the building ‘can never again be used for tourists’.
Port Erin Commissioners were opposed to the plans, over fears there was insufficient parking for residential units, and the loss of ‘valuable tourist accommodation’.
The Department for Enterprise also expressed concerns at the possible loss of 16 per cent of the self-catering bed space in Port Erin and the south of the Island.
Many elements of the Cherry Orchard aparthotel have changed in recent years.
The restaurant, bar, and function suites all closed in 2017, with the loss of 24 jobs.
That followed a long-running dispute with some apartment residents over alleged over-charging, which was referred to the Rent and Rates Tribunal in 2014
The owners were subsequently ordered to repay £89,000 to the leaseholders.
The former Chequers Bar was converted to a retail unit earlier this year, and is now occupied by Ken Quine Hardware.


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