It would appear that the trams and horses of the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway will have a new home in 2017 following the approval of a planning application to construct a temporary building on part of the former Summerland site. The new building will consist of a tram shed, stables, staff welfare facilities, parking and new vehicular access and is partly required because of the very poor condition of the Strathallan Depot and the desire to move the horses from the Summerhill stables which were put up for sale in 2016.
Despite objections to the scheme – including the Manx Electric Railway Society – the planning department agreed to the application although there are a number of conditions which have to be met. Most notable of these is that the building must be removed within four years as its “subsequent retention would result in an unwarranted intrusion in the conservation area”. The external walls, sliding doors and roller shutter doors must be in a dark green/olive green colour and there must be adequate off street parking before the building is used.
Now that permission has been granted for the new building work will presumably start on construction ahead of the new horse tram season as currently only restricted access is possible into Strathallan Depot under struct guidelines due to the incredibly poor condition of this building.
* All the documents related to the application can be read at https://services.gov.im/planningapplication/services/planning/planningapplicationdetails.iom?ApplicationReferenceNumber=16%2F01365%2FB.