Stone Hill Park to hold public exhibitions on Manston airport development plans

Previous SHP plans for the Manston airport site

Stone Hill Park is holding two public exhibitions on its plans for the Manston airport site.

The developer has enhanced proposals that will be submitted in the New Year to Thanet District Council.

Last month SHP submitted a hybrid plan  with 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.

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.

A face to face meeting to discuss the Inspectorate’s review of RSP’s draft documents took [place earlier this month. 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.

SHP exhibition events: 3pm-8pm

Monday, 20 November

Holiday Inn Express Minster Tothill Street, Minster

Tuesday, 21 November

Pegwell Bay Hotel, 81 Pegwell Rd, Ramsgate


  1. Glad that RiverOak are still in the running to reopen Manston Airport. The SHP plans don’t look sound and they don’t seem to have addressed the Environment Agency, Southern Water, etc., earlier objections yet, so why TDC Leader, Councillor Wells, and his Cabinet of only 5 or 6 people, have decided that SHP’s plans should be put forward in the new Local Plan, without a mention of the pending DCO for something they got voted in on and surely should be shouting with joy from the rafters about, is beyond me.

  2. The RSP plans are all pie in the sky that’s why. Only the SHP plans make any sense at all.
    The location and type of business wanted by SHP has been explained in several professional reports as unfeasible at Manston. It’s no good carrying on repeating about what councillors said before the last election. Which meant something different anyway depending on which party you were voting for ! They have to go with those reports. Yes it will be sad for some not having noisy, polluting planes flying in and out at all hours of the night (especially those protesters who live outside of Thanet) but we have to move on and get with the times. We need to just get going with whatever is deemed best for Thanet as a whole, because at present nothing is being done with the site, which is the real shame.

  3. CORRECTION: Margate Resident meant to say; The location and type of business wanted by RSP being explained as unfeasible in professional reports, not SHP.

  4. Nothing like a good Freudian slip Margate Resident.
    I’m happy to say that the DCO application is going very well, and the good news is imminent. Which is all well and good as SHP plans remind me of some post apocalyptic vision with tacky housing thrown together next to a runway. Not what we ought to be aspiring to for a prosperous, aesthetically pleasing Thanet. It’s almost reminiscent of the scenic railway planted in the middle of a housing estate plans from other developer wannabes before Dreamland was resurrected for the benefit of the area. If it wasn’t so sad it would be funny.

  5. No investor has shown any evidence that they have the funds to deliver what they claim and their claims are not supported by any evidence that the demand is there for a 24/7 airport hub. If housing don’t go on the old land then the houses will go elsewhere in Thanet. The airport always failed due to its location and poor management of which RVP have had a hand in. TDC are doing the right thing in supporting this as there is no alternative.

  6. It certainly won’t be good news for the residents of Ramsgate and Herne Bay if RSP get permission for a cargo airport.
    A) If by some miracle they actually manage to get one going, we’ll be under the flight path.
    B) If not, they cannot return the site to agriculture…what will they do with it instead? I suspect the likeliest answer would consist of two short words, the first beginning with a B, the second with an H.

  7. It would be better to have thousands of houses on a brownfield site than a cargo airport. The housing shortage dates back to the Thatcher government’s introduction of right to buy.Perhaps those who don’t want Thanet to have large new housing developments could start lobbying the local MPs about it.

  8. RSP’s fantasy airport is billed as a rival plan but it’s nothing of the sort. Those who’ve been following this fiasco will remember that they originally intended to submit their DCO application by December 2016. They missed that deadline and the next one, and the one after that. Eventually, they settled on November 2017 and this was hyped up as the big moment. Lo and behold, they’ve missed that deadline as well. Now, their application is in no-man’s land. Maybe it will be submitted next year. Maybe it won’t. The only thing we can say for certain is that it couldn’t have been ready to submit in November. And that’s an interesting one because, at their barbecue only a few weeks ago, they told everyone that everything was on track. Gale was there when they were telling everyone this and he didn’t say anything about more consultation being needed. It’s pretty obvious that something has gone badly wrong. What could that something be? Well, the big thing that has happened since the barbecue is that SHP’s lawyers sent a letter telling the Planning Inspectorate that the DCO application was unlawful. Maybe the claim has legs? Maybe the whole house of cards has come tumbling down and the “delay” in submission is a fig leaf to try to cover Gale’s embarrassment.

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