An updated plan for proposals at the Manston airport site has been submitted by developers Stone Hill Park.
The document lays out a number of changes following consultation events in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
SHP plan to develop the 303ha space for 2,500 homes; an advanced manufacturing focused business park; sports and recreational facilities, with the former runway becoming the focal point for a network of parkland, trails and outdoor space, and a ‘heritage hub’ at the site.
Changes to the original masterplan, which was submitted in 2015, include relocating the ‘wavegarden,- a n inland surf lagoon -sports hall and courts, adding more residential areas to the eastern edge of the site, adding a village green and extra, smaller park areas and explanations for road layouts and ‘wavegarden’ facilities.
Housing has also been removed from the western end of the site, with the employment area extended.
An overview of the development states: “The rich history of the site will be respected through retention of selected airfield features, supporting the heritage work of the museums and incorporating the ‘memory’ of the place within the development.
“The new ‘place’ should be fully integrated into the network of roads, open fields and villages that define the distinctive landscape of Thanet, while also acknowledging the different qualities and character of this former airfield and its open, elevated position within the landscape.
“The site is already well connected to the surrounding movement network. The development will help deliver the wider Kent transport strategy while also reinstating the ‘lost links’ at a local level.
“There will be a series of major new public parks for Thanet at the heart of the development. These will provide a range of new green space experiences and links across the site, and connect to a network of smaller recreational pocket parks, greens and green streets within the built environment.
“The plan includes sufficient space within it to provide a range of new community facilities such as primary schools, shops, GPs and community halls.”
Schools, heritage and work
Two primary schools. A supermarket and a new ‘high street’ are included in the plans, as well as retaining the main runway as a public park – Runway Park, “preserving its ‘memory‘ for residents in the surrounding community.”
The Heritage Centre, fire station, Spitfire Museum and the Old Control Tower will also be retained for a ‘Heritage Hub’ on the Northern Grass area.
The Delta Park industrial area will be in small clusters next to green space and retained hangar buildings. There will also be a Spitfire Way area, Meadow Edge area and street will be named after airfields.
A sports village will include a 50m swimming pool building, up-to six new full sized football pitches, indoor facilities such as gyms and classroom space and sports/ play sites such as skate parks, cycle skills areas and training grids/ running tracks. There will also be forest areas and walking/cycling trails.
Jobs and income
SHP say key benefits of the scheme include around 2,000 new direct jobs including construction phased employment over the next 10-15 years, new training and apprenticeships for young people and the long-term unemployed plus the realisation of £28 million New Homes Bonus and £4.7 million of council tax receipts annually.
The updated hybrid application (part outline and part detailed) was submitted on October 30.
Find the latest revisions by searching OL/TH/16/0550 on Thanet’s planning portal.
Rival plan from RSP
RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP) hopes to reopen the airport site in a £300m project to create an air freight hub with passenger services and business aviation.
The company aims to submit an application for a Development Consent Order to the Planning Inspectorate to allow a compulsory purchase of the site. It bought out the DCO rights from the original proposing company RiverOak corporation last December.
In one volume of its reports compiled as part of the DCO process it states: “Direct on-site jobs are predicted to be 2,150 by year 5, of which 697 posts are forecast to be created by the airport operator. The direct employment figure will rise with increasing freight tonnage and passenger numbers.
“By the end of year 5, the indirect and catalytic jobs forecast to result from the operation at Manston Airport are 4,515 and 8,601 respectively, and 8,970 and 17,085 by the end of year 20.
“The total figure for jobs created by the operations of Manston Airport is forecast at around 30,000.”
Construction and education
RSP plans for construction will be phased over 15 years and will include a total of 19 freight stands and four passenger stands for aircraft as well as warehousing and fuel storage to meet the forecast demand.
There are also plans for education and training, flight training school, business aviation and passenger services. Earlier this month RSP announced a partnership with Securitas to implement and operate a full suite of fire and security services at the site.
RSP aims to handle some 10,000 air cargo movements a year by its sixth year of operation equating to 14 arrivals and 14 departures a day, around two flights an hour “during normal operating hours.”
Draft documents including the Development Consent Order (DCO), Explanatory Memorandum, Statement of Reasons, Book of Reference, Consultation Report and Funding Statement were submitted to government in September.
A face to face meeting to discuss the Inspectorate’s review of RSP’s draft documents= is due to take place tomorrow (November 2).
A decision by the Secretary of State on the DCO is expected by the end of 2018. If RSP gets the green light for its plans it says the opening of the re-built and refurbished airport will be in 2020.
Thanet Cabinet members have agreed proposals to move forward with the publication of the isle’s Draft Local Plan, including amendments that mean Manston airport will no longer be designated for aviation use only.
The Local Plan is a blueprint for housing, business and infrastructure for the isle up until 2031.
It sets out how much development is needed to support the future population and economy. Allocating land through the plan is designed to give the council greater control over where and what type of developments can take place.
The draft plan still has to be debated at Overview and Scrutiny on November 21, again by Cabinet on December 14 and at full council in January before it is agreed for submission and further consultation.
An appeal to allow change of use of four hangars at Manston airport from aviation-only was rejected in July.