Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Port Erin boundary change bid halted ahead of further talks

Houses on the Ballakilley estate Image copyright PhIL GAWNE
Image caption The future status of dozens of homes has been thrown into question by proposed changes to boundaries

A controversial boundary extension proposal that could see 78 houses on the Isle of Man become part of a neighbouring village has been halted.

The enlargement of Port Erin's boundary to include the Ballakilley estate was due to be debated by Tynwald.

But the debate has been shelved following an application for a second inquiry into the matter.

Rushen Commissioners said lodging their own application was the "only option" to challenge the "unfair" decision.

The Ballakilley estate straddles the boundary of the two local authorities, with 78 homes in Rushen parish and a further 90 in Port Erin village.

An independent inquiry had approved the extension of the village boundary, which a Rushen spokesman said would cause "quite significant harm" to ratepayers and the parish authority.

The proposed change would have meant a loss of 10% of the parish's rate income.

Owners of the 78 homes would have faced an average rate increase of £250, phased in over 10 years.

The government said discussions would now take place with both authorities.

A spokesman for Port Erin Commissioners said the board was due to discuss the matter at a meeting on Tuesday evening, and would comment afterwards.

The Rushen board has now applied to have the parish boundary extended instead, to allow the 90 houses on Port Erin-side of the estate to be transferred to it.

The authority has also asked for the factors used to judge a boundary dispute to be reviewed.

The spokesman said the board hoped a "compromise" could be reached over the issue.

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