Thanet’s blueprint for housing and development up to 2031 submitted to Planning Inspectorate

Thanet Image Lewis Clarke / Thanet : Thanet Scenery

Thanet’s draft Local Plan, approved by the council on Thursday, July 19, has been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for Examination.

Inspectors Victoria Lucas and Matthew Berkinshaw have been appointed to examine the plan and Thanet council has appointed a programme officer to liaise with the inspectors and those who made comments on the document.

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 council vote of 31 in favour and 21 against.

The new draft plan, published in August, 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.

Local Plan meeting

The authority’s ruling Conservative group and most Thanet Independent Councillors (TIC) backed the new option as a way to protect aviation at the airport site, saying they were honouring the election pledges made to residents.

Members of UKIP and Labour say the plan is unsound and could lead to rejection at the public examination stage and result in the government taking control of Thanet’s housing and infrastructure proposals – potentially costing the authority tens of thousands of pounds.

Thanet District Council was placed in ‘intervention’ in March, with the Government closely monitoring progress due to the authority’s failure to put in place a local plan.

Manston status and DCO application

Manston airport site

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, is now at the stage where an Examining Authority panel has been selected, consisting of Martin Broderick, Jonathan Hockley, Kelvin MacDonald and Jonathan Manning as panel members with Kelvin MacDonald as the Lead Member of the panel.

A Preliminary Meeting, run and chaired by the Examining Authority, will now be arranged.

Once the application moves on to Phase 4 (Examination) there is a maximum of 12 months for the Secretary of State to make a decision on whether to approve the DCO to reopen Manston airport.

The DCO seeks development consent and compulsory acquisition powers over the land. It is the means of obtaining permission for developments categorised as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP). This includes energy, transport, water and waste projects.

RSP wants to compulsorily purchase the site from landowners Stone Hill Park,

Airport site landowners Stone Hill Park have submitted a masterplan for housing, business, infrastructure and leisure at the site.

Just over 2,000 representations were made by Thanet residents and groups and by organisations and businesses in response to the DCO application via the Planning Inspectorate.

Around 52% were against the proposals and 48% in favour. Among the representations made to the Planning Inspectorate are submissions from the Ministry of Defence, Historic England, Highways England, Dover and Thanet district councils, Kent County Council and a document from law firm Pinsent Masons on behalf of Stone Hill Park.

Others came from facebook groups set up specifically for the DCO representation process.

Local Plan process

Comments received on the Local Plan have been sent to the Planning Inspector for consideration. Those who provided feedback may be invited to speak at the public examination of the Plan, expected to take place in February 2019.

Other published council documents in relation to the draft plan are:

  • 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).

Find the Local Plan documents here


  1. Yawn yawn……….hurry up and reopen Manston Airport. Talk about snails being slow, they are rocket propelled compared to the DCO admin bods and zzzzzz sleepy government.

  2. No. Don’t reopen Manston Airport, unless you want to cause intolerable noise and pollution affecting not only Ramsgate but residents under the entire flight path.

  3. It won’t be yawn yawn if this one lands like an old 747 with engine trouble.
    You won’t like it if the Govt commissioners step in and all those wishing for fewer houses find they are knee deep in pastry cutter estates with identikit houses by Persimmon.This better be good or someone’s head will have to roll.

  4. The TDC Councillors should take it on board that the majority who responded to the planning inspectorate are against a freight hub opening in Thanet. That’s somewhat different to the stories we are always being told by Gale and the SMA protestors that 75-99% are all for it. They have been lying to us all along and in fact the people of Thanet don’t want what they are trying to inflict upon us. Freight is not passenger flights, which is what the people wanted.

  5. I have realised that it doesn’t mater what anybody from the council or developers say now when it starts the developers will do what they want and the council won’t care what locals say. The money people will get what they want and the local people will be shat on. We on Bullockstone road Herne have been and safety has been swept into the gutter. Yes I’m bitter because we have been lied to over and over again by Redrow and Kent council

  6. The government wants Thanet to have thousands of new homes. It would be better not to have a dirty great airport as well. The choice, not that any of us actually has one, is not “either houses or an airport”.

    • Airport with jobs for local people, or do you want Thanet to remain an unemployment black spot. Houses would not create jobs they would be built by large firms own sub contractors

      • RSP say they want to develop a totally automated cargo airport. Please do not assume that because I personally (or anybody else) do not want an airport at Manston, I want Thanet “to remain an unemployment blackspot”. SHP who own the ex-airport have put in plans for mixed-use, and it is surely better that local brownfield sites are used for housing, rather than farmland or non-agricultural countryside.

  7. Yawn yawn (Yawn…)
    Just WHO is going to reopen Manston? Who in his right mind is going to spend £100Ms on a loss-making airport?
    The Local Plan must be evidence based. The Local Authority looked for evidence in support of aviation – and found none. To the contrary, the evidence, ALL the evidence pointed to the contrary.
    That a different flavoured LA subsequently chose to ignore this evidence, and reserve Manston for aviation in the LP, can only lead to one thing.

    • Why on earth do you consider that it will be a loss making airport just because it was in the past. Do you really think the money men would take such a gamble with £300,000,000. Think again. ????✈️

  8. (Thinks) I’ve thought again.
    RSP’s own Funding Statement shows they have about half a million in the piggy bank, and by groping down their and their friend’s sofas they might come up with another £5M or so.
    By there own admission, of the £300M needed to establish and developed the airport, there is no sign. There are no people queuing up with fistfulls of readies. It speaks volumes, does it not, that investors are conspicuous by their absence.

  9. Marva Rees sounds like another new bod to the area or someone with an invested interest. They move here and no sooner they are here they start to moan. Manston Airport was intentionally run down make no mistake about that, the previous manager was having discussions Mrs Gloge long before it became public knowledge and she supposedly paid £1 plus debts to buy it in the hope of laughing all the way to the bank. After the public outcry she run off back to the hills of Scotland. I think there should be a police investigation into the whole matter. Manston Airport is exactly in the right location, when it is reopened it will bring prosperity to the whole East Kent area and far beyond. Those who own it now are not doing bad being paid thousands of pounds by the government in case it is needed.

    • I moved to Ramsgate six years ago and I like it very much. No, I don’t moan. I am very much against the idea of having an airport of any kind near Ramsgate. Especially one with several flights a night.

      I don’t understand why so many people who want an airport are personally insulting to those who disagree with them or indeed so insulting about Ann Gloag who is simply a businesswoman doing what businesswomen do ie trying to make money from their property. What public outcry was there? Did she run away to Scotland or was she already living there? And in what respect does Ann Gloag differ from RSP, some of whose principals are not exactly figures of valour and virtue?

      Manston is not a suitable place for a commercial airport, although it was an excellent place for a military airport.

  10. You clearly have no idea what you are writing about you are so wrong on just about every count.
    Manston Airport was not deliberately run down. Did Tony Freudmann, last time he was involved, try to run it down? Why did KCC invest £100,000’s in trying to promote it, if the intention was to run it down?
    I don’t know who Mrs Gloge is, so can’t comment on her involvement.
    It is true that Mrs Gloag bought Manston Airport, plus its considerable debts, for £1.00. This was after PwC had had it on the market for nearly two years, and no one had bought it. Not Tony Freudmann, nor Mrs Gloge.
    I’m not sure what the police should do. A perfectly legal business transaction took place.
    I think your biggest misunderstanding is about the location of Manston Airport. It is not “In exactly the right place”. Far (literally) from it. Down here, at the bottom right hand corner of the UK, it’s just too far away from transport hubs and distribution infrastructure. All the experts say so. None says otherwise.
    BTW I don’t think your argument is enhanced by making personal and rude comments about people who have views different from yours. We all have a vested interest: if the DCO bid is successful we’ll all be kept awake at night by planes flying over.

  11. The public outcry over Manston Airport was because of the devious cunning way the closer came about.
    I say again the whole saga stinks and should be investigated. Gloge did not even attend a parliamentary panel who wanted to talk to her about it she hides behind front men and women. No one said there will be flights going on all night, fake news made up by scare mongers.

    • Well said Ann, i notice all the coffee shop set are stirring things up with miss information as usual most of them are new comers to the area who want Thanet to stay as an unemployment black spot

      • Who are “the coffee shop set”? “Miss information” (sic)- really? Isn’t it correct to say that RSP want and need night flights if they want a cargo hub airport? And they have submittedto the Planning Inspectorate a plan which contains a large number of night flights.

        Why would newcomers to the area want Thanet to “stay as an unemployment black spot”?

        Please explain what you mean instead of throwing insults around.

      • Would you oblige us by giving an example or two of the ‘miss information’?
        Could it be ‘RSP have applied for a Night Quota bigger than Heathrow’s’?
        Or ‘RSP have applied for a night flight licence from the CAA’
        Or ‘The reopening of Manston will create 30000 jobs?
        Which is the ‘miss information?

  12. Can’t say I remember a public outcry, apart from the man with the loudhailer in Ramsgate on market-days. Was the closure of the airport deviously and cunningly brought about? I thought it closed because it was losing thousands of pounds a day.

    RSP say they want a cargo hub airport and that must involve night flights. (What a cliche the phrase “fake news” has become.)

  13. Here is a fact. It must be a fact, because RiverOak said it: they’ve applied for a night quota bigger than that at Heathrow, using aircraft that are noisier than those permitted at Heathrow.
    RSP has applied to the Civil Aviation Authority for a licence that will permit night flights. That’s a fact, too.
    East Midland Airport, the largest dedicated freight handler, shifts almost all its freight at night, as does Stansted.
    But you’re right. There won’t be night flights. There won’t be amy sort of flights!

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