Isle of Man News - POSTED Fri 14-02-2014

MHK pledges to 'fight' for town

by Joanne Clague

MHK pledges to 'fight' for town - picture

Castletown MHK Richard Ronan has resigned from a departmental duty over the ongoing saga of the Callow's Yard development.

Mr Ronan had been responsible for the retail sector within the Department of Economic Development.

But he says his constituency mandate takes precedence over his role in the department.

In a statement released this morning, Mr Ronan said: 'As many will be aware, two planning applications have recently been submitted to convert a large proportion of the retail centre of Castletown into residential apartments. Following discussions in the town and a public meeting this week attended by 170 residents, the local Commissioners and I received a unanimous mandate from our electorate to oppose these applications.'

Callow's Yard owner Roy Tilleard is seeking the approval of planners to convert retail units at Callow's Yard into residential use.

Mr Ronan continues: 'As MHK for Castletown I am deeply involved in the regeneration of the town and a strong campaigner for localism. I am determined to fight to restore a vital, varied and sustainable business and leisure community in this beautiful, historic town.

'Recently I have found my constituency mandate in this matter taking precedence over my role in the Department as the Political Member with delegated responsibility for the Retail sector.'

DED Minister John Shimmin has agreed Ronan can focus on the constituency issue.

Mr Ronan said: 'This will not impact on my other delegated responsibilities for the Department and I look forward to working with the Minister to help drive further economic growth for the Isle of Man.’

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