The state of Groudle Glen has been branded ’shoddy’, amid calls for action to be taken.
Environment, Food and Agriculture Minister Geoffrey Boot pledged to visit the Onchan glen and take a look at the state of the old waterwheel house, fallen trees and river pollution, after admitting he had not visited in some time.
Juan Turner MLC said the government or Onchan Commissioners needed to take action.
He said: ’The glen itself is extremely rundown.
’It is shoddy, it is a complete embarrassment - in complete contrast to the very excellent facility maintained by the Groudle Glen Railway enthusiasts, which is immaculately kept.’
Daphne Caine (Garff) raised the issue in Tynwald on Tuesday and asked Mr Boot what his department was going to do.
’Some of the condition is bordering on the unsafe,’ she said.
’From the bridge which says, "access to glen at own risk", there are foot-sized holes before you even get into the glen.’
She said she was told that Onchan Commissioners had no plans to renovate the waterwheel building and were ’content for the area to return to nature’.
Mr Boot said his department was working closely with the commissioners.
’Whilst the department leases parts of the glen from the commissioners, including the waterwheel building, the responsibility for structural maintenance sits with the commissioners, who are the landowners,’ he said.
’It is understood that Onchan Commissioners are investigating potential repair solutions for the waterwheel prior to making a final decision.’
He added: ’My understanding of the situation is that the cost of renovating the waterwheel is considerable and I suspect that the commissioners may not be willing to commit to that amount of funding to renovate the waterwheel at present.’
Any decision on what action, if any, could be taken by the DEFA, would be considered after Onchan Commissioners gave their final decision, but he warned the department had to prioritise within its resources.
In terms of sewage, he said an area of Groudle River affected was fenced off by the department and warning signs put up.
’Following a recent court order, the owner of the Biodisc sewage treatment plant has undertaken works to remedy this matter.’
The plant was now working properly, said Mr Boot, and the signs removed.
But the owners of Groudle Glen Cottages could face action, he said, after a new area of concern was identified further down the river.
’Samples have been taken from there and the Manx Utilities Authority informed, but we are awaiting the result of those samples before taking any further action,’ he added.