Detailed planning applications for phases 2 and 3 of the 785 home Manston Green development have been submitted to Thanet council – despite work yet to start on phase one which gained permission in 2019.
An outline application for the development of the homes, primary school, retail, community hall and road works was agreed in 2016.
Permission granted for phase one, in October 2019, means work needs to start by October this year for the approval to stay valid.
Phase one is for 220 homes and will include a mix of 1 and 2 bed apartments and 2, 3 and 4 bed houses. Ten percent will be affordable housing in this phase. There will be vehicle, pedestrian and cycle access from Manston Road.
The Manston Green plan, which was first discussed with Thanet council in 2008, also includes works to create a junction off Manston Road, a Toucan crossing, and a new roundabout at the junction of Manston Road and Haine Road. The A256 Haine Road will be diverted and downgraded with an access road connecting it to Manston Road. There is also a loop road within Phase 1 which connects the access road to the proposed new primary school.
The wider road will eventually allow bus access through the site and to the school. A footpath/cycleway also follows the access and loop roads with a second footpath/cycleway into the site in the north-east corner and the existing bridleway from Ozengell Grange to Manston village will be extended into the centre of the site.
However, despite original documents saying Barratts will be the homebuilder for the project, a planning meeting earlier this week was told no housebuilder had yet been confirmed for phase one.
Planning officer Iain Livingstone told members on the committee, who were discussing an application for the nearby Ozengell Farmhouse, that phase one was submitted three years ago and approved in October 2019 with land agents Cogent Land LLP having to submit detailed applications for the remaining two phases by July.
This has been done and both applications are now validated and live on Thanet council’s planning page.
Talking of phase one Mr Livingstone said: “They have got two years to implement reserved matters. That means that phase has to be implemented by October this year to be extant – to be able to be built out.”
However, although the committee was told there was ‘clear intention’ to begin work on phase one Mr Livingstone said there was as yet no confirmed housebuilder as far as Thanet council was aware and work on site would be to “dig the trenches” in order to keep the permission valid.
He said: “We do not have confirmation that there is a confirmed housebuilder for this phase of development. The land agent will get on site and they will dig the trenches in accordance with the permission to make the consent be extant and be able to be implemented but as far as we are aware there is no housebuilder for phase one.”
He did later confirm that the council was aware of talks with interested parties for building out phases one and two.
The meeting was also told it was anticipated that 20 properties would be delivered in 2022-23 as phase one got underway but there was no timeline for the development to be completed with it expected to take some 10 years.
Phase two is for 241 homes with 38% of residential units for affordable housing- equating to 92 properties.
The phase 3 application is for 324 homes with 38% of those defined as affordable housing.
Planning documents say the scheme will boost the local economy, stating: “Development proposals seek to contribute to the strengthening of the local economy by providing much needed new homes alongside emerging job opportunities.
“The new residents of the residential element of the scheme will generate on-going resident expenditure which will help to support local shops and services. The construction of the development will also support the local labour market.
“The proposals present a unique opportunity to provide infrastructure improvements to Thanet, facilitating the delivery strategic highways improvements to the A256 corridor, whilst delivering much needed family homes in the area, all to the benefit of the local community.”
Commenting on the development during the committee meeting Green Party councillor Mike Garner said: “Phase one they are going to dig the footings just to show ‘we’ have made a start but there isn’t a builder at the moment to take that on.
“Phase 2, the planning application has just been issued for consultation, that won’t start until phase one is finished- which has not started yet and ‘we’ have not got a builder for. And then phase 3, I assume, won’t start until phase 2 has been started and completed.
“So we have got a whole chain of development stuck at the first hurdle because we have not got anyone to actually build it.”
A decision on applications for phases two and three is yet to be made.
Find the applications on Thanet council’s planning portal under references R/TH/21/1082 (phase 2) and R/TH/21/1109 (phase 3).
The reference for the approved phase 1 is R/TH/19/0499