Ref NoS90
Catalogue LevelSeries
TitleIsle of Man Government: Planning Committee: Planning application index maps
DescriptionA collection of Ordnance Survey County Series and National Grid maps for the Isle of Man that serve as an index to planning applications submitted to the Isle of Man Government from 1936 to the 1990s. The maps are annotated with planning application reference numbers for individual properties and land.

This system was likely established by the Development Board in the 1930s and was in use until the late twentieth century (1999), when the Planning division began using an electronic database to record planning applications. These maps form the main starting point for searching the Isle of Man historic planning application filing system.

The early index maps, covering planning application submitted to the Development Board from 1936 onwards, are annotated onto Ordnance County Series maps (sub-series S90/1) and County Series Town plans (sub-series S90/2) to 1:2500 scale (and 1:1250 scale for Douglas and Onchan).

When Ordnance Survey established the National Grid system in the mid 20th century, the new resulting maps were adopted for built up areas of the Island, providing more space for recording application numbers. These National Grid maps can be found in sub-series S90/3 and S90/4.

The planning reference numbers already on the County Series maps were not transferred to the National Grid maps, and so it is necessary to consult both sets of maps to search for applications for some areas of the Island. For some rural areas where there has been limited development, no National Grid maps are available and all planning references appear on the County Series maps.

The reference numbers used for planning applications following a running number from 1 to 57073 (from 1936-1983). In 1982, Tynwald approved the Isle of Man Planning Scheme (Development Plan) Provisional Order, which brought changes to the Planning Commitee. This was reflected in a change to the reference number systemFrom 1983, planning reference numbers include the year followed by the number they are assiged with on registration (e.g.: 83/2378)

To use the index maps:

- Identify the map sheets (both Ordnance Survey and National Grid) where the property is located. This can be done by referring to the overview index map sheets at the start of each sub-series;
- Consult the individual map sheets for the particular area of the Island, find the property itself on the maps and note down any planning application numbers written on the maps for that property.

The application numbers identified on the index maps can then be researched further using the planning application registers (catalogue reference S89), planning application files (catalogue reference S10) and planning committee minutes (catalogue reference S92).

The index plans are in paper format, but a set of digital scans of the index maps are available (with the exception of the National Grid scale 1:10560 plans in S90/4). These can be viewed online by clicking the link on each online catalogue entry.
Physical DescriptionDue to the fragile condition of the maps in S90/1, S90/2 and S90/3, only digital surrogates are accessible to the public.
If the reference numbers in the digital surrogates are unreadable, Public Record Office staff may be able to examine the original plan for you. This is dependent on the physical condition of the original paper plan.
Administrative HistoryThe Development Board was created, under the Local Government Board, by section 4 of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1934. This Act was drawn up in response to the Housing Acts 1924, which had as an objective 'to provide for the erection of houses for the working class'. The Town and Country Planning Act would 'enable schemes to be prepared and carried into effect for development and planning of land' as to preserve the Island natural assets and ensure a safe urban density was maintained so as to improve sanitation and living conditions.

The Development Board was constituted by members of the Local Government Board, Highway Board and representatives of all Commissioners' groups and Parish Authorities to the number of 19 representatives.

The general duties of the board were 'to consider the development of the Island and of the various parts thereof, and to take such steps in the manner set forth in this Act as to them may seem desirable for the progressive development of the land in accordance with schemes and plans for laying out the same so as to secure public health, and proper sanitary conditions, amenity and convenience, and the preservation and development of buildings and places of beauty and public interest.'

The first task of the Development Board was to create a process to control the Island's development and in 1936 it passed its first regulations under the original 1934 Town and Country Planning Act. The Town and Country Planning (Interim Development) Regulations, 1936 defined the documents to be submitted to the the Development Board in order to apply for permission to develop land. This was followed by the 'Town and Country Planning amendment Act, 1936', that allowed the Development Board to create Interim Development Orders (IDOs).

In 1956, the Planning Committee was constituted by the Local Government Board under the powers invested in them by the First Schedule to the Boards of Tynwald (No. 2) Act, 1952, section 12, and the passing of the Town and Country Planning (Interim Development) Regulations, 1956.

The Planning Committee continued the duties exercised by the Development Board and there was no change to the number or type of members that formed the Committee. An individual that wished to develop their land would submit an application to the Planning Committee. The information required for an application are summarised in section 5, 'Application to Develop', of the Town and Country Planning (Interim Development) Regulations, 1956.

The Planning Committee functions were reviewed under the Isle of Man Planning Scheme (Development Plan) Provisional Order 1982. In 1986, the Local Government Board was absorbed by the Department of Local Government and the Environment, taking in the planning function with it and creating a Planning Division.

These index maps were created and used as an index to the planning applications by the Planning division and its predecessors, the Development Board, Local Government Board and Department of Local Government and the Environment until 1999, when digital mapping tools were introduced. The planning division also produced a set of digital scans of the maps to improve searchability and help preserve the fragile paper maps. In the mid-1980s, the planning division began using a digital database to record planning applications and the index maps gradually fell out of use in the mid-1990s. In 2003, the Planning division of the Department of Local Government and the Environment developed a digital and georeferencing project undertaked in India, to create digital map layers for the software ArcGIS. This enabled search by address, optimising research and recovery of information. The same method of indexing is still in practice through ArcGIS and the system is maintained by the Isle of Man Department of Infrastructure and Cabinet Office's Government Technology Services (GTS).
Custodial HistoryThese maps and the accompanying digital scans were transferred to the Isle of Man Public Record Office under section 3 (4) of the Public Records Act 1999 in 2015 by the Planning division of the Department of Infrastructure. Prior to transfer, the records were stored in Murray House, Douglas and were in daily use by the Planning division.
Arrangement of SeriesS90/1: County Series index maps: 186 map sheets, 1 digital file
S90/2: County Series Town index maps: 8 items, 1 digital file
S90/3: National Grid index maps: 373 items, 3 digital files
S90/4: National Grid scale 1:10560 index maps: 1 volume
Link to Digital Copy|ab1484ec-7725-4835-920a-ecff4a3fbfcf/
Extent559 map sheets; 6 digital files; 1 volume
Accession NumberA34

Show related Authority records.

DS/IM/58Isle of Man; Planning Committee; 1956-present1956-present
DS/IM/57Isle of Man; Development Board; 1934-19561934-1956
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