Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Bride holiday park 'will desecrate unspoilt landscapes'

Pure Leisure Group Image copyright AFP
Image caption The proposed development includes 55 wooden lodges, a bar and a restaurant

A planned multimillion-pound holiday park would "desecrate one of the most beautiful and unspoilt landscapes" on the Isle of Man, campaigners have said.

The proposed site for the park on Glen Truan golf course in Bride lies close to the Ayres nature reserve.

Campaigners said the 55-lodge plan was a "totally inappropriate development in a totally inappropriate location".

Pure Leisure Group (PLG) said it will be an exclusive development which will "create jobs and boost tourism".

The group, led by Kirk Michael-based entrepreneur John Morphet, has already reached an agreement, subject to planning, to buy and develop a first phase of the 150-acre site for £3.5m.

A second phase of development could see the creation of a swimming pool and spa.

Image caption Local residents held a public meeting in Bride Methodist Hall on Thursday

Mr Morphet said facilities would be developed sensitive to the outstanding natural beauty of the surrounding area.

The political member for tourism, Rob Callister MHK, told a crowded meeting of local residents in Bride on Thursday that the park could "open a new market for tourism on the island".

However, a spokesman for the Saves the Ayres campaign said the area was "protected in Manx law as an area of high landscape and coastal value and significance".

"It is a totally inappropriate development in a totally inappropriate location," he added.

"It would desecrate one of the most beautiful and unspoilt landscapes on the Isle of Man."

The Manx Wildlife Trust said between April and July, the area is one of the most important on the Isle of Man for wildlife.

Chief Executive Officer Tim Graham said the Ayres were "an area of national and international significance", adding that conservation of the area was "paramount", due to the presence of several birds, including linnets, lapwings, skylarks and little terns.

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