Enhanced planning proposals for homes, business and leisure on the Manston airport site have been submitted to Thanet District Council by land owners Stone Hill Park.
The proposals lodged last Thursday (May 3), set out the vision for up to 3,700 homes for all stages of life, from executive homes to starter and micro homes, built over a 15-20-year period.
SHP want to create 46,000 sq m of advanced/hi-tech employment space which SHP say will provide up to 2,000 direct jobs with 9,000 further jobs created over the course of the project, including construction and jobs in the supply chain for the wider area.
Plans include a heritage airport with an operational runway suitable for classic, vintage and potentially light aviation.
The Spitfire and Hurricane Museum and RAF Museum will be relocated to the runway, alongside other facilities including education space, hangars and a cafe;
There will be a series of public parks at the heart of the development, including the retention of the non-operational part of the former main runway as a recreational and community event space. In all 45% (133 hectares) of the total site area would be kept as green or open space;
SHP also plan to create The East Kent Sports Village with facilities including Kent’s first 50m Olympic sized swimming pool and a WaveGarden surf lake;
Plans include the completion of the first part of a strategic link road through the site to allow for future connections to Westwood Cross.
Other ‘green’ streets will be aligned to produce direct visual links between retained heritage features such as the fire station and control towers.
The mixed-use scheme will include schools,a food store, cafes/restaurants, a 120-bed hotel and a health centre. Space for a small-scale campus for higher/further education is planned, close to the employment hub.
SHP say the development will mean Thanet council receives New Homes Bonus of £41.9m and annual tax receipts of £7m as well as community and infrastructure benefits through a future developer’s agreement.
The scheme has taken three years to reach this point. SHP say there will be a £500million investment in the project.
‘Economic shot in the arm’
Trevor Cartner, joint owner of Stone Hill Park, said: “In November we announced significant enhancements to our masterplan following extensive consultation. These updated proposals have now formed the basis of the planning application submitted today.
“Our intention is to deliver thousands of much needed homes, thousands of hi-tech and manufacturing jobs, as well as new heritage attractions, acres of new open space and a destination sports and leisure village.
“The application is the result of extensive consultation with residents, community groups, stakeholders and others helping us to finalise a scheme that will ensure this iconic site plays a key role in regenerating this part of Kent as a place to live, work and visit.
“What has been put forward and prepared over many months is the right plan for Manston and the right plan for Thanet, delivering the economic shot in the arm that this part of Kent needs now.
“Residents, politicians and others will now have a further chance to have their say over the coming weeks with Thanet District Council holding a period of statutory consultation with all our documentation placed on the council’s website, which will allow the public to engage in the process further.”
Once validated the plans will be available to view on the Thanet council website.
Draft Local Plan
The development plans, with a lower housing figure of 2,500, had been earmarked in Thanet’s Draft Local Plan as a contribution towards a housing target of 17,140 new isle homes by 2031.
But the publication stage of the plan was voted down on January 18 and in March this resulted in the announcement of central government intervention.
The Government’s Chief Planner and a team of experts will be sent to the isle to assess whether the plan needs taking out of the hands of Thanet council.
The firm aiming to bring aviation back to Manston airport has withdrawn a Development Consent Order (DCO) submission submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for the site in April.
A DCO is the means of obtaining permission for developments categorised as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP). This includes energy, transport, water and waste projects.
Riveroak Strategic Partners (RSP) sent 63 documents, containing almost 11,000 pages of proposals, to the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol.
But today (May 8) the Planning Inspectorate website displays a letter from RSP lawyers Bircham Dyson Bell which states the application has been withdrawn.
The letter says: “This letter is to notify you that our clients, RiverOak Strategic Partners Ltd, are withdrawing the application submitted on 10 April 2018 and are engaging with the Planning Inspectorate with a view to resubmission as soon as possible.”
The RSP proposals are for a £300m project to create an air freight hub with passenger services and business aviation.
RSP has a four phase plan across 15 years to create 19 new air cargo stands, update the runway, four new passenger aircraft stands and updated passenger terminal, refurbished fire station and new fire training area, aircraft recycling facility, flight training school, hangars for aircraft related business, highway improvements and the creation of a museum quarter.
A statement from RSP says: “RiverOak Strategic Partners has temporarily withdrawn its DCO application in respect of Manston Airport. This is not uncommon with DCOs and RSP is in dialogue with the Planning Inspectorate in order that the application can be resubmitted as soon as possible.”
The withdrawal notice comes on the same day as Stone Hill Park announced it has submitted enhanced plans for houses, business and leisure to be developed at the site.
The DCO application includes an Environmental Statement, a four-volume Economic Assessment, plans and drawings of the proposals and a report on the one non-statutory and two statutory consultation exercises, undertaken across 2016, 2017 and 2018, to which over 4200 responses were received.