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Douglas Development Partnership


Robin Hood
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What exactly is Douglas Development Partnership (DDP)?

 

I haver a few concerns about what appears to be a little club or Quango.

 

Here we have an organisation that is partly funded by my rates and partly funded by Commerce. The problem as I see it, is that DDP are doing work that Douglas Corporation should be doing. Namely: pretty little tress, improvements to town centre, Christmas decs and music in the street.

 

Why are we paying for DDP to have (presumably rented) an office in the High Street and full time staff? What are they doing all day?

 

Another concern is that one of the board members of DDP is a Mr Horsthuis. I would like to know if this is the same Mr H who owns a significant share of the land around the Cooil – the same area of land that had been in for major Industrial redevelopment.

 

In fact the development was bigger than the Spring Valley and the IOM Biz Park put together.

 

Now Tynwald turning down the plans (at the last sitting) is a mere formality as we know from numerous previous applications, they always go through in the end having been tweaked.

 

(Nobody is suggesting anything untoward, or any thing to do with brown envelopes as this doesn’t go on in the Isle of Man)

 

:D

 

But does it not strike you odd, that why would someone who cares so much about the Town Centre (Which DDP is all about) would be encouraging ‘out of town shopping’.?

 

Now some may say that these developments are trade only, but so was Spring Valley went it opened. B&Q came in and suddenly we have a retail park. At odds to planning!

 

My point here is not that I am against ‘out of town’ shopping malls, units warehouses etc.

But why do we have a DDP where one of the members of its board could well be a person whose actions could destroy local business?

 

We already have the start of it. B&Q, Robinsons, Various others, Riley’s Eden Centre etc.

 

The big UK boys have already seen off smaller local shops. This is not unlike anywhere else, in fact Douglas is just like any other UK town. But DDP are doing nothing for local traders – it’s time the axe fell on DDP and the Corpy do the job they are paid to do!

 

DDP have failed to get priorities right. It is no wonder that people want OUT of the Town Centre. The issue of Parking is hounding everyone. People are now harassed by Traffic Wardens and Parking Controllers. The DoT are driving people out. Surly these are issues that need addressing. Cheaper Saturday parking when the offices are closed. Free 1 hour parking in Chester Street, but rigidly enforce a fine for overstaying the hour. A good compromise for people wanting to ‘nip’ in to town.

 

A variety of topics here……..

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Another concern is that one of the board members of DDP is a Mr Horsthuis. I would like to know if this is the same Mr H who owns a significant share of the land around the Cooil – the same area of land that had been in for major Industrial redevelopment.

 

I think its safe to say that you know the answer to that is "yes"

 

Moving on .... all the Douglas Development project seems to be doing is dressing up Douglas so that a certain developer can flog flats. There is little changing for the shops, no better parking, no new businesses moving in. But ask them to tart up some lamposts, put a flower basket out and renovate a few buildings so that those driving past Douglas Centre to look at apartments (flats to me and thee) get a decent impression of the place and the job is done.

 

The same goes for North Quay - dress it up for when the land around Tescos get developed and all the yuppies can stroll into Douglas via continental style pavement bars and cafes with ambient lighting. Its so transparent its laughable.

Edited by thesultanofsheight
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Another concern is that one of the board members of DDP is a Mr Horsthuis. I would like to know if this is the same Mr H who owns a significant share of the land around the Cooil – the same area of land that had been in for major Industrial redevelopment.

 

I think its safe to say that you know the answer to that is "yes"

 

Moving on .... all the Douglas Development project seems to be doing is dressing up Douglas so that a certain developer can flog flats. There is little changing for the shops, no better parking, no new businesses moving in. But ask them to tart up some lamposts, put a flower basket out and renovate a few buildings so that those driving past Douglas Centre to look at apartments (flats to me and thee) get a decent impression of the place.

 

The same goes for North Quay - dress it up for when the land around Tescos get developed and all the yuppies can stroll into Douglas via continental style pavement bares and cafes with ambient lighting. Its so transparent its laughable.

 

I know what, why don't we just do nothing and hope everything works out for the best. Is everyone over here a paranoid conspiracy theorist?

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I know what, why don't we just do nothing and hope everything works out for the best. Is everyone over here a paranoid conspiracy theorist?

 

I'm not advocating doing nothing - Ramsey is the prime example of doing nothing at all and ending up with a shit shopping centre that is beyond redemption - but DBP should be working for the shop keepers not the developers who lets face it can afford to do lots of stuff themselves but actively don't because DBP, the Corpy, or other agencies always pick up the tab.

 

As a town centre Douglas is still pretty grubby, and there could be loads of things they could do to get more people shopping in Douglas shops. Its funded by ratepayers and small businesses so I am led to believe so it could be doing more in terms of initiatives rather than window dressing, and they should leave that sort of stuff to Douglas Corpy who are more than happy to piss away money on things that do nothing but sell apartments.

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There is much to criticise in Douglas, in terms of planning and the still somewhat shabby areas, but it is a vast improvement over its state a few years' ago.

 

As far as the out of town developments; Eden Park is Riley's which had a very impractical shop on Quine's Corner, both from the point of view of shop layout and nearby parking. Now it is a very pleasant garden centre with a wide range of goods and facilities.

 

What is wrong with dressing up Douglas? It's a much more attractive place now than it has been for many a year. I am not a great fan of developers, but they are a necessary evil if we want to see the town centre brought up to date. What would you put on the prom in place of dilapidated hotels? The new apartment blocks have been built in keeping with the scale and style of the old hotels maintaining the character of the old prom in its heyday, but with a new use and purpose.

 

The development of the North Quay is attractive and promises to create a vibrant focal point for Douglas. What is wrong with that?

 

The nature of town centre shopping is changing and that is as much to do with different lifestyles as an approach to planning or even local authority steps to engineer demand. More and more women work now and so do not have time to call into the butchers, the greengrocers, the ironmongers and hardware stores to get their weekly perquisites; even less time to shop for the family needs on a daily basis.

 

Times are a changing, what we must do is make sure that progress is managed and planned, the old style cannot be preserved in aspic!

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The new apartment blocks have been built in keeping with the scale and style of the old hotels maintaining the character of the old prom in its heyday, but with a new use and purpose.

 

I read your post and agreed with everything but the above.

 

Surely you cannot claim that any apartment block built in the last 10 years fits in with the scale and style of the prom (ignoring that most are at least one storey too high, and of a totally different style, and the window lines are totally out of line)

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There is much to criticise in Douglas, in terms of planning and the still somewhat shabby areas, but it is a vast improvement over its state a few years' ago.

 

As far as the out of town developments; Eden Park is Riley's which had a very impractical shop on Quine's Corner, both from the point of view of shop layout and nearby parking. Now it is a very pleasant garden centre with a wide range of goods and facilities.

 

What is wrong with dressing up Douglas? It's a much more attractive place now than it has been for many a year. I am not a great fan of developers, but they are a necessary evil if we want to see the town centre brought up to date. What would you put on the prom in place of dilapidated hotels? The new apartment blocks have been built in keeping with the scale and style of the old hotels maintaining the character of the old prom in its heyday, but with a new use and purpose.

 

The development of the North Quay is attractive and promises to create a vibrant focal point for Douglas. What is wrong with that?

 

The nature of town centre shopping is changing and that is as much to do with different lifestyles as an approach to planning or even local authority steps to engineer demand. More and more women work now and so do not have time to call into the butchers, the greengrocers, the ironmongers and hardware stores to get their weekly perquisites; even less time to shop for the family needs on a daily basis.

 

Times are a changing, what we must do is make sure that progress is managed and planned, the old style cannot be preserved in aspic!

A lot of that is of course true - but principle should never be sacrificed by officialdom, whatever the so called benefits, as we are all losers in the longrun.

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Agreed Juan, but they are more in keeping than square blocks with square balconies. To keep the window line would mean very high ceilings which are probably very expensive and not attractive in modern buildings (heating all that space before getting to where you are sitting). But they do not stand out like sore thumbs along the prom.

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I think if you read robin hood, (what a stupid name) he or she has some very valid points.

 

its definatley a waste of my cash. im a rate payer and object to these sort of things. i would like to know how much this is costing.

 

never mind tarting up the town - its private enterprise that is tarting up the place anyway. but the point here is that we appear to have created another usless committee and the associated costs that go with it!

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  • 3 months later...
I think if you read robin hood, (what a stupid name) he or she has some very valid points.

 

its definatley a waste of my cash. im a rate payer and object to these sort of things. i would like to know how much this is costing.

 

never mind tarting up the town - its private enterprise that is tarting up the place anyway. but the point here is that we appear to have created another usless committee and the associated costs that go with it!

 

Some great ideas and concepts on their site - I wish central Government would take a bigger role and get some of these things implemented, Douglas is still a shabby hole when all is said and done.

 

The likes of improvements to the Quayside are great, but there needs to be more done - and faster.

 

Website really does need an overhaul - in fact the Partnership could do with a good injection of life into it.

 

http://www.ddp.org.im/images%202/Close%20u...20and%20map.jpg

http://www.ddp.org.im/images%202/Looking%2...rd%20Street.jpg

http://www.ddp.org.im/images%202/view%20east%20night.jpg

http://www.ddp.org.im/images%202/info%20board.jpg

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I think if you read robin hood, (what a stupid name) he or she has some very valid points.

 

its definatley a waste of my cash. im a rate payer and object to these sort of things. i would like to know how much this is costing.

 

never mind tarting up the town - its private enterprise that is tarting up the place anyway. but the point here is that we appear to have created another usless committee and the associated costs that go with it!

 

 

If you call in at the DDP offices in Victoria Street you can get a copy of their annual report and find out exactly how much it is costing and who is involved.

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I think if you read robin hood, (what a stupid name) he or she has some very valid points.

 

its definatley a waste of my cash. im a rate payer and object to these sort of things. i would like to know how much this is costing.

 

never mind tarting up the town - its private enterprise that is tarting up the place anyway. but the point here is that we appear to have created another usless committee and the associated costs that go with it!

 

Some great ideas and concepts on their site - I wish central Government would take a bigger role and get some of these things implemented, Douglas is still a shabby hole when all is said and done.

 

The likes of improvements to the Quayside are great, but there needs to be more done - and faster.

 

Website really does need an overhaul - in fact the Partnership could do with a good injection of life into it.

 

http://www.ddp.org.im/images%202/Close%20u...20and%20map.jpg

http://www.ddp.org.im/images%202/Looking%2...rd%20Street.jpg

http://www.ddp.org.im/images%202/view%20east%20night.jpg

http://www.ddp.org.im/images%202/info%20board.jpg

 

 

It would be good if Douglas Corporation had a Local Plan. Then we could see what they are planning to do (if anything) and rate payers could be encouraged to make comments and suggestions.

But I suppose that would be too radical for them.

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