Councillors agree 214 house development at Minster can be approved by planning officers

The site in Minster Photo by Minster's Future Matters

An application to build 214 houses on agricultural land in Minster will be delegated to planning officers for agreement.

Councillors at a planning committee tonight (April 14) approved the measure despite airing concerns over traffic, school places, adequate medical facilities and the number of houses on the site.

The total application area is 34.67 acres, with proposed residential development and associated open space and services on approximately 32.27 acres and a reserve site of 2.40 acres proposed for the future extension to Minster Cemetery.

The land on the west side of Tothill Street, Minster, is owned by St. John’s College Cambridge and Spanton Farms Limited.

The site, which is on a Special Protection Zone, includes the expansion to the west of Minster cemetery.

The development has provoked more than 40 objections with concerns including the loss of Grade 1 agricultural land, loss of habitat and views that brownfield sites should be developed before greenfield sites.

The application was called in to be discussed by Councillor Reece Pugh who said it would change Minster village ‘beyond recognition.’

He raised concerns that there would not be sufficient school places at Minster and the plan for new youngsters in the village to go to a proposed Manston Green primary school was inadequate with the risk that that school may not be built in time – or at all.

Councillors on the committee raised concerns that traffic mitigations to add an extra lane at the Tothill roundabout and pay £166,000 for junction work at Spitfire Way were not adequate to cope with a possible 200-300 more vehicles trying to enter and exit the village.

Cllr David Hart, who voted against the recommendation, was vocal in his disapproval of the scheme.

He said: “This is not in the right place. The school does not have capacity, where are all these young people going to go? It is not a well thought out plan, it is not the right place. You cannot put over 200 houses in an area you can’t get in and out of (on the road).”

Planning manager Iain Livingstone said councillors had already allocated up to 250 houses at that site by approving the Local Plan.

Cllr Hart responded that 20 or 50 houses would be more acceptable but more than 200 was not.

Cllr Albon said the traffic mitigations were not sufficient and a bridge should be considered rather than a pedestrian crossing on Tothill Street. On being told Kent Highways was happy with the transport arrangements he replied: “Kent Highways may not have an issue but we do.”

Despite almost all councillors raising issues with the application seven voted in favour to approve the recommendation.

Councillors David Hart, Heather Keen, Paul Moore and Linda Wright voted to refuse the application but were outnumbered.

The site is allocated for housing under the Local Plan. Originally it was suggested 150 homes could be sited at Minster but this was increased to 250 after a vote to retain the Manston airport site for aviation and so redistribute housing numbers that had been allocated to that site.

The proposal, put forward by agent Savills on behalf of the landowners, will require developer contributions of:

Special Protection Area (per unit figure)

Primary Education £4,535 per house and £1134 per flat

Secondary Education  £3,534 per house and £798 per flat

Libraries  £10, 275

Community learning  £4,414

Social care  $16,424

Health Provision  £144,000

Spitfire Way Junction Highway Works  £166,000

30% on-site affordable housing provision

Off-site highway works to Tothill Street Roundabout junction

Resurfacing of Bridleway

The application has now been delegated for approval by officers, subject to safeguarding conditions, and the submission of a signed S.106 agreement.

The vote

For: Mick Tomlinson, Steve Albon, Keith Coleman-Cooke, Alan Currie, Jill Bayford, John Dennis, Mike Garner, George Rusiecki

Against David Hart, Heather Keen, Paul Moore, Linda Wright

(Pat Moore no vote as she left the meeting early to attend town council).


  1. Karma:
    “Originally it was suggested 150 homes could be sited at Minster but this was increased to 250 after a vote to retain the Manston airport site for aviation and so redistribute housing numbers that had been allocated to that site.”

    • England’s “Green and Pleasant Land ” is being decimated by people only interested in financial gain . They are not worthy of their claim to represent ” The Community ” and DEMOCRACY must prevail !

  2. Why are people confused about the outcome? The site had been allocated for housing in the local plan.

  3. Glad they’re still looking after the bridleway. All too often these disappear into between-homes alleys!

  4. Yet again tdc failed to put local people before what basically is backhanders from building companies up front to say what a great thing there doing in destroying thanet’s countryside and farmland. Andrew I guess you don’t live in any of the area’s planed with all these unneeded homes.

  5. Taken from above ………”The development has provoked more than 40 objections with concerns including the loss of Grade 1 agricultural land, loss of habitat and views that brownfield sites should be developed before greenfield sites.”

    It should become government policy that brownfiled sites must be developed before greenfield ones.

  6. Corrupt, corrupt, corrupt.
    These puppets masquerading as council officers and councillors do not have the interests of local residents in mind at all,there should be a Thanet wide vote of no confidence in TDC ASAP!!
    Absolutely disgraceful behaviour from those not fit to rule.Their headstones should register their part played in the ruination of the Isle of Thanet.

    • This needs to happen, who do we start?? I’ve never known such an overwhelming contempt for a local authority.

    • I have continually said no matter which party lead TDC it is rife with corruption. Before voting in the next bunch might be worth demanding which side of the development fence they stand! Better still, let us all refuse to cast our vote and rid ourselves of such scandalous cretins.

  7. I thought it was policy to developm brownfield ahead of green. Quite right. Apart from in Thanet, where the desire for a giant cargo hub outweighs the preservation of prime farmland.

  8. Manston has never been brownfield site it has always been an airport.just because previous owners refused to invest does not take away the fact it is an airport. Fact is it was deliberately done because they saw an opportunity to make stupid amount of money to turn it into a housing estate, maximum return for a £1, but it failed,she then sold

  9. It isn’t an airport. It went bust 6 years ago and has no permission or flight traffic license. It also has no investors or customers.

    It hasn’t always been an airport. It was a former military airbase quickly abandoned when the strategic military need was no longer a UK requirement at Manston.

    Ann G wasn’t responsible for its demise. That was down to lack of customers, lack of viability and being in the wrong place for a commercial airport.

    • It is an airport and has always been so.get your facts right before you comment on things you obviously dont know about.The military used it as an airbase USA and Royal Air Force.civilian aircraft were always allowed to use Manston.The new owners have fantastic plans for returning it to an operating airport not like the previous idiots who had no ideas on how to run an airport.

      • The main ‘previous idiot’ is in fact now the leading light of the new owners. You knew that of course.

  10. Fact 1916 manston airport was created, since then it has always been an airport. Military airbase is still an airport as they both have a runway for aircraft. Ann g never once invested in manston and had no intention to so. Sorry John you are wrong

    • It was not an airport in 1916. It was an aerodrome.
      But let’s not quibble over semantics.
      John is perfectly correct: Ann Gloag had nothing to do with the demise of Manston. That was (and is) down to its location; bottom right hand corner of England, 100 miles from Heathrow, poor transport connections, surrounded on three sides bu sea.

  11. Guess you and John have the mentally of tdc councilors, that’s why Thanet is in such a mess. I’m sorry that you feel so much against manston airport/ aerodrome . As for Ann gloag investment was never her intention, fact she did invest in the housing perposal that was stopped. A 40% stake which she openly admit

    • TDC is in a mess partly because of Manston.
      Several iterations of TDC leadership have been in thrall to a vocal minority which has convinced them to favour aviation at Manston.
      As a consequence, we have lost SHP’s excellent scheme and their investment into Thanet.
      We have had the only UKIP local authority in the world.
      We have had fractured leadership, with several “no confidence” votes seeing changes in leadership.
      And, most important, we’re saddled with a disastrous Local Plan, designed to stop anything happening at Manston other than aviation, with unintended consequences throughout Thanet.
      Pleased to see that Ms Gliag was open about her investments. Wouldn’t it be super if RSP did the same, and told us who their Virgin Island mystery backers were?

  12. 40 objections and it gets approved where cladding on a ramsgate house with 21 notes of support gets declined – fascinating process.

    • It’s all about meeting criteria, not about popular vote.
      Interestingly, both outcomes are a direct consequence of the flawed Local Plan, foisted upon us by an unholy trinity of Tory, UKIP and TIG councillors.
      In Lincolnshire, for example, a company applied for a fracking licence. Despite 1000s of objections, it was approved – because, at that time, fracking exploration was government policy.

      • There was one application on there last night which failed half a dozen of the ‘criteria’ but no one on the committee bothered to do or say anything – most of them are nodding donkeys, Albon looked like he was in bed – what a class act?!

  13. Apparently the investors are in Luxembourg now. I’m not sure if they’re the old investors or the supposedly new investors.

    Let’s face it, there are no investors.

  14. So an extra 100 houses here on greenfield land rather than build on Manston a brownfield site. Well done Gale and co. Seems the plan to stop houses being built on Manston is having nasty consequences. Manston isn’t an airport it shut nearly 7 years ago. It has no planning permission, no CAA airport license and no flight paths. Judging by RSP’s DCO and CAA application it isn’t likely to get any. That’s without the fact with the dire state of aviation nobody in their right mind will ever invest in an airport there that has failed three times run by a dodgy solicitor who got struck off for misappropriation of client’s funds. They would probably more houses there though.

  15. Trouble is you have TDC councillor’s who are putting their support of RSP’s 24/7 cargo hub in front of doing the right thing for Thanet and its residents. People should remember that next elections.

  16. Why does there need to be so many new houses on one site,surely 100 or so houses
    in several different places around the village would be a much better idea.
    Regarding the Manston airport site if you know of Hawkinge near Folkestone that
    is what Manston would become,massive urban sprawl.

  17. A great deal of money has been spent on getting Manston up and running as a cargo hub, it will succeed eventually. Yes, there have been some bumps in the road but it will happen. It’s likely to bring much needed jobs to the area. Building 200 houses only creates building jobs.
    The people in these new houses will soon learn that the noisy racetrack on their doorstep, proximity to an airport and vastly overstretched local resources (the local school is full) means misery.
    Tothill street is already busy soon to be even busier with added traffic.
    There are plenty of brownfield sites that could have been used, but alas no. I for one will be looking to move away. I cannot bear to see farmland lost forever and wildlife habitat with it.

    • Mark, your argument is a bit weird. You want yo move because ‘you cannot bear to see farmland lost forever and wildlife habitat with it’, yet you are happy with an cargo airport which will affect wildlife, and more importantly, make life miserable for thousands of Ramsgate house dwellers. Ok.

    • A great deal of money has not been spent, because RSP doesn’t have it.
      The estimated cost (2019) to get Manstonbup and running was £300M and rising.
      RSP explained to the ExA that they hoped to raise this money through attracting investment, and by bank loans.

  18. Why is no one laying the blame for any of this at the feet of the Spanton family? They are the ones selling off vast acres of their farm land so that 1000’s of houses can be built on it.

  19. It is just what TDC want.bickering about Manston while they build on all the farm land. They will blame Manston, but planned to use both. It is called a smoke screen. What we need to do is say no more to houses being built in Thanet.

  20. Say it to the government then. It is they who have presented Thanet with the requirement to build 17000+ houses here.

  21. Ramsgate resident you go on about manston airport, not a brownfield site.( If you have a house empty for 7 years it’s still a house). And yet it seems the only place in Thanet not getting major houses built is Ramsgate, WHY ????. Plenty of land there, let’s get 4000 built there instead, that should give you something to moan about instead of bloody moaning about manston airport, it still has a runway so therefore must be an airport.

    • sorry Chris but it is Broadstairs that is not having any amount of houses built when I asked on here if anyone knew why no answers were forthcoming it is Margate and the surrounding areas through to Birchington that’s copping most not Broadstairs not Ramsgate but Margate

  22. In a mixed development, the runway could become part of something else which needed a concrete surface. There is indeed plenty of brownfield land near Ramsgate.

  23. Lesley I did say Ramsgate should have a fair share of housing, but as you rightly said there not. Neither is Broadstairs and would be nice to know why as they are part of Thanet

  24. Which Ramsgate brownfield sites are you referring to? The gasworks and Pleasurama sites, and the site between Cavendish and Effingham Streets, are now being built on.

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