A new vote on Thanet’s draft local plan is due to take place

House building programme

A new vote on Thanet’s draft local plan will take place in July.

The draft plan – which is a 20 year blueprint for housing, business and infrastructure on the isle – was voted down in January by Conservative and ‘rebel’ UKIP councillors  with 35 against and 20 in favour.

The vote, which led to the collapse of the UKIP administration, was prompted by a change of status for Manston from aviation-only to a mixed-use designation to include 2,500 homes. An amendment to defer for two years the mixed-use designation pending the resolution of the DCO process was not sufficient to persuade the majority of councillors.

There were also issues over housing numbers with a strong campaign to protect sites mounted by the Birchington Action Group Against TDC Local Plan members.

The failure to vote through the plan led to the government stepping in to speed up the process.

Housing Secretary Sajid Javid 

Then-Housing Secretary Sajid Javid wrote to 15 local authorities in England in March to inform them of decisions on intervention following their continued failure to produce a local plan.

Thanet was one of three authorities where the government confirmed it could take over the entire process.

TDC initially said a new plan could take between 8-10 months with the intention to publish a pre-submission draft plan by December 2018  and submission for examination until April 2019.

But council leader Bob Bayford, who was voted in to the council top spot following the resignation of UKIP leader Chris Wells at the end of February, had pledged to “progress and deliver the local plan.”

Thanet council Cabinet members will meet to discuss the draft plan on July 2. The issue will go to the scrutiny panel on July 11, back to Cabinet on July 19 before a final decision from full council on July 26.

Documents for those meetings, which will include any revisions to the plan, have not yet been published.

Thanet’s Draft Local Plan –which runs until 2031 –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.

Manston airport photo Dean Spinks

Consultation was carried out last year on revisions to the plan included axing the aviation-use only designation at Manston airport and putting forward new isle sites including Manston Court Road and Haine Road.

Government guidelines currently dictate a build of 17,140 new isle homes by 2031.

This level of housing may need to rise to more than 20,200 homes, raising the requirement from 857 dwellings per year to 1063 dwellings per year.

Some 1,555 homes have already been constructed; another 3,017 have been given planning permission; 2,700 are accounted for through windfall housing –sites that have historically had planning approval and may be put forward again – and 540 are already empty homes.

This leaves 9,328 properties to be accommodated. It is possible that 2,500 homes earmarked for the Manston airport site in the plan voted down in January will now be allocated to other parts of the isle.

The isle’s last active local plan was adopted in 2006.


  1. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the allocation of houses on Manston was always “Windfall” therefore any development off Manston should not be affected one way or the other by what happens on Manston. In other words the Local plan would allocate whatever housing was necessary IGNORING any contribution from Manston.

  2. I agree with Mr Grantham. Manston is for aviation only and, judging by what Transport Minister Grayling said today about protecting all regional airports, it will remain so. Thanet is devoid of jobs. RiverOak have a DCO pending to reopen the airport, with £479 MILLION due to be invested in it and offering thousands of jobs, as opposed to temporary construction jobs and leading to chaos on the roads, in the schools, doctors, dentists and QEQM Hospital.

    London boroughs are being criticised for sending their people to places like Medway and Thanet to save money, creating havoc. The new Stone Hill House plans have been heavily criticised and objected to by most of the statutory bodies, as inadequate or down right unsuitable for a housing estate on top of the aquifer, for various reasons. The Draft Local Plan still isn’t sound in many areas, so to propose yet another (not so secret now) vote is not only deceitful, but letting down the electorate again, just because the officers and a few councillors didn’t get the result they wanted first time. With approximately 400 objections and only 100 supporting the SHP plans, it’s not only the Conservatives and the breakaway UKIP councillors who want Manston saved for aviation only for ever. Actions speak louder than words, so stand up to those officers for a change and insist on NO to mixed use at Manston Airport.

    • The councillors made rash and uninformed promises before the last election. They should not stick to this naive attitude of “We must keep the promise we made to our voters” now that RSP’s plans are clearly extremely damaging to the voters and to where they live.

      Whether or not housing on the ex-airport will count as part of the planned allocation for Thanet, it would be much better to have housing there than a full-time cargo airport.
      Why on earth are our local MPs backing RSP’s plans?

    • RSP do not have a pending DCO. They withdrew it following serious concerns expressed by the Planning Inspector over RSP’s application.
      One of the concerns was that RSP had not shown that Manston was a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project, and so bot worthy of a DCO;
      Another concern was RSP’s failure to demonstrate that they had funding in place: their plan, it seems, is to try to raise the manority of the funds AFTER they got their hands on the land.

  3. I despair at the lack of understanding of what goes on, Marva Reeves says that elected Cllrs should not stick to promises made during elections, well how many times do we hear the complaint that 2 they say one thing and do another ” Cllrs sticking to promises made is a good thing whether the promises made are good, bad or indifferent. Secondly Andrew says that RSP had not shown that Manston was a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project, well Andrew that is the whole point of the process and has the process hasnt started no opinion on that has yet been expressed. PINS has asked for clarification on some points before they start on the decision making process.

  4. What a load of bunkum these SMA supporters spread to try and gain further support for what would be an environmentally damaging airport at Manston. It is not a nationally important scheme and the fools who believe it is are delusional. Where are the millions upon millions of dollars coming from to build a national airport there coming from? Who are the rich investors? Nobody has been able to answer these very important questions so far.

  5. If the promise would, if kept, bring about something detrimental, then it shouldn’t be kept.

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