An outline planning application for a 61 unit extra care scheme, 14 retirement bungalows, 34 houses and 8 maisonettes at the Jentex oil storage plant in Cliffsend will be discussed by Thanet councillors next week.
The scheme would mean the removal of the remaining oil two tanks, out of six originally at the site, to make way for the housing.
In its submission Jentex says the storage installation is no longer required, as operational changes affecting the supply of marine oil to the Kent Ports have significantly reduced the requirement for oil storage at the Cliffsend site.
The revised submission, first lodged in 2018, adds: “Most oil distribution is now made direct from the refinery, with only two of the original six oil storage tanks remaining on site. The applicant has confirmed that only one of these tanks are now used, and never to more than 25% of its capacity. This shift in the industry means that a site of this size is no longer required, and so it is the company’s intention to relocate to a much smaller site, consisting of a small office and vehicle depot. The continued use of the land by Jentex Oil Depot is therefore no longer required.”
In the plans the extra care building, which has been moved to the edge of the village, would also contain a shop, cafe and hairdressers. Proposals for a separate community hall have been removed but a meeting facility and the introduction of outreach services will be included within the building.
Currently seven people are employed on the site. The proposals will provide circa 40 jobs for local people.
Thirty per cent of properties will be allocated as affordable homes.
The design document says: “The applicants have run their business from the depot site for many years but it is now surplus to requirements. The applicants’ wish is that, once the business has moved, the site will provide a legacy to benefit Cliffsend, and redevelopment or sale of the site for continued industrial/storage use does not meet these aspirations.
“After lengthy consideration and local consultation (in 2015) the applicants decided that they wished to use the site to meet a very clearly identified need for housing and in particular for older people in the village and the surrounding area. This is the primary focus of the proposal and was shown to be highly popular with local residents during the consultation event.
“An additional important part of the concept is to create facilities for the provision of ‘outreach services’ to older people in the area who wish to continue living in their own homes. Such services are vital to large numbers of older people.”
Historic plans show that the site was open farmland until 1961 when a number of large circular sewerage tanks were constructed. Between 1972 and 1975 an oil storage depot was built on the site. Further tanks were constructed until at least 2002, however three were removed by 2010.
A contamination investigation in 2015 concluded: “The investigations demonstrate that the former uses of the site have resulted in mild contamination by polyaromatic hydrocarbons and asbestos (with respect to human health). No significant soil based source of groundwater contamination has been identified.”
The Environment Agency has advised subject to a safeguarding condition requiring the submission of a remediation strategy, the impact is considered to be acceptable.
A condition is also required seeking details of the mitigation measures proposed due to the properties falling within ‘noise exposure’ from Manston airport.
RiverOak Strategic Partners also bought the Jentex site in a deal completed in September 2018.
The site is designated in RSP proposals as the location of its airport fuel facility. If the DCO is successful Jentex will become the operators of the new fuel facility.
This means the DCO decision, which is expected this Saturday (January 18) could impact on the housing proposal,
If the housing scheme does go ahead a developer agreement will include the provision of:
£2,640.87 towards mobile library provision in Cliffsend
£158,727 towards primary education in the form of phase 2 of St.Georges Primary School,
£144,027 towards secondary education in the form of phase 2 expansion works at Royal Harbour School,
£89,820 towards the new medical centre required at Westwood,
£19,250 towards the Special Protection Area.
30% affordable housing provision on site (excluding the extra care facility)
The retail unit, hairdressers, and cafe within the extra care facility being made available for community use, –
Restriction on required level of personal care for future occupants of the extra care facility.
Planning officers at Thanet council say: “The proposal is considered to be a sustainable form of development, the need for which is considered to outweigh the loss of the employment land and the impact upon the countryside, and as such it is recommended that members defer the application to officers for approve, subject to safeguarding conditions and the submission of a signed S.106 agreement securing the heads of terms identified.”
The application will be discussed by the planning committee at its meeting on January 22.