Consultation events over plans for 1,600 homes, school and shops on Birchington farmland

The development area

Consultation events will be held next week over plans to build 1,600 homes, a primary school, shops and a community park on farmland at Birchington.

The development is earmarked to take place on land off the Canterbury Road and is proposed by Ptarmigan Land and Millwood Designer Homes.

Aims to develop the site are contained in the draft Thanet Local Plan  a blueprint for housing, business and infrastructure on the isle up until 2031.

Development on the isle

A total of 17,140 homes are earmarked for completion by 2031. Of that number 2,182 have already been built (up to March 2018) with 4,500 scheduled for delivery by 2021; 5,500 between 2021 and 2026 and 5,585 between 2026 and 2031. A proportion of these already have planning permission – 4,294 – some are ‘windfall’ sites – 2250- and 357 are empty homes. Around 8939 still need to be accounted for.

A vote aimed at retaining aviation at Manston airport -a U-turn on the mixed-use development including 2,500 homes that was recommended in a version of the draft plan voted down in January – means the 2,500 homes have been reallocated to new sites.

The reallocation resulted in an extra  600 homes for Birchington, making a total of 1,600.

Birchington consultation

The plans for Ptarmigan Land and Millwood also include potential improvements to the Birchington Medical Centre, a network of new cycle and pedestrian links within the site and surrounding area and a strategic link road to help alleviate traffic in the village centre and wider Thanet area

The consultation events will be held at the Centre in Alpha Road on October 3, 1.30pm to 8pm, and October 4 noon to 8pm.

‘Sympatheic development’

A statement from the developers says: “We are keen to work closely and collaboratively with the local community to bring forward the best possible proposals for Birchington.

“We are therefore encouraging all existing residents to attend to find out more about our plans. This will also allow you to share your own ideas and aspirations for the development and help shape the final proposals.

“Following the event, all of the feedback received will be reviewed and will help inform our ongoing design process. We believe that comprehensive engagement with the local community helps to deliver a better designed and more sympathetic development.

“It is important for us to understand the unique nature and character of Birchington from the outset of the design process to enable us to create a valuable addition to the village.”

Ptarmigan Land and Millwood Homes will look to submit a planning application at the beginning of next year.

Expansion of the village

Resident and campaigner for Birchington action group against TDC Local Plan Craig Solly said: “Next week’s consultation marks the start of the planning process to build and develop Birchington’s expansion of 1600 homes, this is increasing the village by a third.

“The Thanet Local Plan is still waiting for the outcome of the examination that took place this year.  The government’s planning inspector may make modifications to the plan, and when this happens there will be a public consultation to gather comments.  The inspector will only accept the plan when it is deemed to be “sound”.  Thanet council will then go through the process to adopt the plan.

“Birchington Parish Council is preparing a neighbourhood plan that provides further planning policies, which are governed, by the local plan but provides greater detail for planning objectives and policies for the Birchington area.   Because of Thanet council being one of the last councils in the country in adopting a local plan, this process has been made harder to do and limited in time, which has been unfair on Birchington’s community.

“Expanding Birchington to this level has fundamentally been wrong and poorly produced and has been open to displeasure by many people in Birchington.  When objections came in by the thousands the council added even more houses to the area.

“I would hope that everyone takes part in the consultation to make sure Birchington gets the best outcome.  Please also take part in Birchington’s neighbourhood plan that will go to referendum when it’s ready.

“Losing the UK’s finest farmland to housing is not the way to deliver housing in the future, especially when there is passion to protect the environment and global climate.  It is a sad reflection of these times to destroy the arable soils that have provided food for generations.  Thanet and the UK has brownfield land which the focus of house building should prioritise, especially when national policy states it to do so.”


  1. Goodness me! Sounds very similar to the scheme proposed by SHP for the ex-airport site at Manston.
    But TDC put so many obstacles in their way they upped stumps and set off for pastures nes, where investment would be welcomed.
    And now the noble burghers (I think I’ve got that right) of Birchington are to lose acres and acres of farm land.

  2. Birchington got their 600 extra houses because the aviation lobby wanted to stop housing at Manston. That Pro aviation lobby was aided and abetted by Birchington and Westgate Tory Councillors. It does seem somewhat hypocritical to moan now about the number of houses when they voted for them to be given to Birchington in the 1st place

  3. Yup, you couldn’t make it up! A disused airport, 2 miles from Ramsgate which an American hedge fund company wants to use to destroy Ramsgate Harbour, devalue property, and cause vast amount of air pollution, is considered better option than building 4,000 badly needed houses, Duurh!

  4. And how many of these homes will be affordable or to rent! Very few I’d warrant.
    There is mention of a Primary school but what of additional doctors and dentists which are hard enough to come by as it is.
    At this rate Thanet is just going to become one huge concrete town with a few tiny little green spaces to separate the old towns and villages.

  5. just a bonkers idea we have a old airport use that even if the old airport reopnes it will be bust with 5 yrs and than build the houses there why waste time just build on the airport …..

  6. We need houses for local people but not on prime land. However if it goes ahead, this development will probably be full of large houses for more commuters to London. Any affordable housing could be snapped up by London Boroughs so that they can reduce their waiting lists. IF we must have more housing let’s make sure it is affordable AND put local people first. IF Manston reopens as an airport at least we’ll have some new jobs for our younger residents!

    • LOL another whiner who uses xenophobia to make their point.
      C’mon at least be grateful those nice Tories have found a way to top up Thanet Council’s coffers.
      Karma is a wonderful thing
      Well I for one await Westgate’s consultation as they got 2000 houses

    • In the unlikely event that Manston reopens as an airport there will be fewer jobs created than the ‘Spoons in Ramsgate created when it opened.

  7. In lots of the new towns there are still large areas of open ground like parks and walkways. Why therefore when you look at new builds today you can barely get a fag paper between them plus the roads you can barely pass another car because there’s not big enough driveways to park two cars. If we become more self sufficient where are the fields to grow food?

  8. I echo all the concerns that this plan may not include sufficient numbers of Council or Housing Corporation homes for affordable rent. As for the idea that “London boroughs ” will take them all smacks of a kind of “Thanet Brexit” where we create yet more borders to keep out those horrible people from somewhere else. Why shouldn’t Birchington people insist that nobody from Ramsgate or Broadstairs be allowed to move to “their” housing development? What a lovely prospect of a small, bitter country, covered in borders , endlessly blaming other people.

  9. After all the social media rhetoric by the pro airport lobby their silence on the growth of Birchington by their actions shows where their selfish motivations lie

  10. I was born in Birchington over 80 years ago when I grew up to be a big boy’s at 21/2 moved out of Birchington I came back after only 5 years find new roads new houses mainly bungalows in every part of Birchington it was nearly unrecognisable. But in those days had to accept it. I bet 60% of the people Birchington now probably came from London and occupy all those bungalows and houses and they’re now saying 9 my back garden. I never heard people saying we can’t build this on farmland my only regret will be may not be just for local people but the airport will be successful and will employ a lot of people have faith

  11. How can anybody “have faith” in an airport near a town of 40,000 people when it would inflict so much noise and pollution on the residents? In fact, what does “have faith” actually mean in this context? Commercial aviation at Manston has no record of success, does it?

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