Thanet’s draft Local Plan, approved by the council on Thursday, July 19, will be available for public viewing and comment from tomorrow (Thursday, August 23) for a six week period.
The draft plan – which is a blueprint for housing, business and infrastructure on the isle up until 2031 –was approved to go to the publication and public comment stage by a vote of 31 in favour and 21 against.
The latest version of the plan includes a reallocation of 2,500 homes, out of a total 17,140 proposed for completion by 2031, to sites including Birchington and Minster and the removal of a proposal for mixed-use development designation for the airport. The designation was put forward in a version of the draft plan which was rejected in January. That vote led to the collapse of the UKIP administration of Thanet council.
The authority’s ruling Conservative group and most Thanet Independent Councillors (TIC) backed the new option as the best way to protect aviation at the airport site, saying they were honouring the election pledges made to residents.
But reception for the housing figures put forward was lukewarm with many opposed to the reallocation of development.
The 2,500 reallocated ‘airport site’ homes will be phased towards the end of the Local Plan period in 2031.
The reallocation will be: Birchington 600 homes; Westgate on Sea 1000 homes; Westwood 500 homes; Hartsdown, Margate 300 homes and Tothill Street, Minster 100 homes.
A second amendment indicates that the status of the Manston site will be reviewed after a minimum of two years if a Development Consent Order or compulsory purchase of the airport land has not been agreed by that date.
A DCO submitted by Riveroak Strategic Partnership, which hopes to create a cargo hub at the site, was given approval to move to the pre-examination stage by the Planning Inspectorate earlier this month.
Airport site landowners Stone Hill Park have submitted a masterplan for housing, business, infrastructure and leisure at the site.
The draft plan also includes a policy to introduce a ban on new foster homes in Cliftonville West.
Have your say
Anyone who wishes to access the Local Plan can do so online from Thursday at https://www.thanet.gov.uk/info-pages/thanets-new-local-plan/
It will also be possible to see copies of the Local Plan in person at the following locations:
- Margate: The Gateway
- Broadstairs: Pierremont Hall
- Ramsgate: Custom House
- District-wide: Any library in the district
The six week period – which ends at 5pm on Thursday, October 4 – provides an opportunity for anyone who wants to offer feedback on the Plan to do so. The comments received on the Local Plan at this stage will be sent directly to the Planning Inspector for consideration. Anyone who does provide feedback at this stage may be invited to speak at the public examination of the Plan.
The council is also publishing other documents for comment:
- The Sustainability Appraisal/Habitat Regulations Assessment (SA/HRA) of the draft Local Plan;
- The draft Transport Strategy for the district; and
- A Landscape Character Assessment of the area, with the intention to adopt it as a supplementary planning document (SPD).
Previous comments submitted about the proposed Local Plan are not carried over and the feedback submitted at the earlier stages of the Plan is not sent to the Planning Inspector. Anyone who wants to ensure that their voice is heard and their comments are seen must provide them at this stage. Submitted comments should carry more weight if they are supported by evidence.
Cllr Bob Bayford, Leader of Thanet District Council said: “We urge anyone who wants to have their say about the proposed plans to use this opportunity to submit comment. The Planning Inspector will examine all of the evidence and public hearings should begin in February. This is an important stage of the process and takes us one step closer to having an approved Local Plan. ”
As well as promoting the publication period with adverts in the local media and social media messages, an email or letter will be sent out to those who have previously commented on the Local Plan.
Public examination hearings for the plan are expected to begin in February 2019.