An update to the Thanet Local Plan – a blueprint for housing, business and infrastructure on the isle – has been extended to cover needs up to 2040 – and includes the need for land/sites to accommodate an additional 4,000-4,500 dwellings.
The housing need calculated up to 2031 was for 17,140 new isle homes. But using the Government “standard method” the number to 2040 is 21,700 dwellings.
The adopted Local Plan identifies an outstanding supply of 13,147. There are additional dwellings provided through the empty homes programme (540 units) and “windfalls” (3825 units).This means there is an outstanding requirement of just over 4,000 dwellings which needs to be accommodated as part of the Local Plan update.
The plan update report says some 548 affordable homes per year would be needed to fully meet local needs. This is to be considered in the light of development viability in the district.
It also says there is a need to plan for the 2020-2040 period to include 2,100 housing units with support (sheltered/retirement housing), in both the market and affordable sectors; 1,000 additional housing units with care (e.g. extra-care), again in both the market and affordable sectors; 1,286 additional care bedspaces; and 860 dwellings to be for wheelchair users.
In addition, the Gypsy & Traveller Accommodation Assessment (GTAA) undertaken for the council identifies a cultural need for 7 permanent pitches and 5 transit pitches. The council has also previously identified the need to provide a “directed stopping site” in the district. A call for sites earlier this year resulted in zero land offers for this use.
The Local Plan sets out the strategy for future development and was adopted for Thanet in July 2020. It the period up to 2031.
The council is now preparing a ‘partial update’ of the Local Plan for Thanet which will extend the plan up to 2040. A partial update means that it is updating certain parts of the Plan and reviewing topics that previous Local Plan Inspectors recommended. This is not an update of the whole Plan.
Study updates are:
Local Housing Need Update
This identifies the amount of housing for which the council needs to allocate land, up to 2040, calculated in line with Government guidance, and provides more information about local housing needs.
Retail & Leisure Study
This study indicates that there is little requirement for additional retail floorspace until we approach 2040.
Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report
This report identifies a range of social, economic and environmental criteria against which the draft Plan will be assessed. Natural England, the Environment Agency and Historic England have all provided input into this report, but we invite feedback on whether we have identified the right criteria.
Habitat Regulations Assessment Scoping Report
The Habitats Regulations Assessment ensures that Thanet’s internationally designated wildlife sites are protected. The Scoping Report details these sites and provides a framework for assessing whether the Local Plan is likely to have a significant impact.
Two discussion papers have been published, and residents and businesses are invited to provide feedback or share any additional evidence that they have, in relation to:
Development Strategy discussion paper: This paper contains information on how the council decides where the focus of development should be, up to 2040. In the adopted Local Plan, the focus is firstly on the towns and then the larger villages and the areas next to them, as agreed by the Inspectors who looked at the draft Plan in 2019. The council needs to consider whether to continue that focus, or to look at another option.
The primary focus for new housing development in Thanet is currently the urban area. Within the Thanet villages, housing development is allocated primarily in Minster, with lesser development at Cliffsend, Monkton and St Nicholas. No housing development is specifically allocated in Sarre, Acol or Manston, but housing development of the relevant settlement will be permitted within village confines.
A review of the plan also was due to “…review the provisions of the Plan in relation to Manston Airport in the light of a decision on the Development Consent Order…”. But a final decision on the DCO has yet to be made. The Manston airport site had been proposed for designation for mixed use but a vote in 2018 to retain the site as aviation-use only meant 2,500 homes earmarked for the site – although not at the point of receiving planning permission – were reallocated to other areas.
Employment Need discussion paper: This paper looks at the number of jobs that are needed to plan for up to 2040. Initial work carried out by Kent County Council on TDC’s behalf suggests that plans for sites and buildings will need to support approximately 11,000 jobs.
This would include predicted increases for manufacturing, construction, transportation and storage, information and communication, professional, scientific and technical and administrative and support services.
Thanet council leader Cllr Ash Ashbee said: “We are at the very start of the process to update the Local Plan. The Plan really does shape how our district will look in the years ahead, both in terms of housing, but also other types of development and infrastructure. It is so important to us to hear your views on the Plan at all stages of the review.
“After we have gathered views and further evidence at this initial stage, next year we will publish a draft Plan which will set out the detailed policy proposals for the area up to 2040. There will be an opportunity to comment before the draft Plan is finalised. We will follow this with a further opportunity to comment on a full draft Plan and the wider allocation of housing and sites later on in the process, likely to be midway through 2022.”
Have your say
The public can submit views via the council’s consultation website on a number of aspects of early Local Plan work until 5pm on Friday 4 February 2022.
The supporting evidence documents are available to view on the council’s consultation website, where comments can be made, and supporting documentation can be uploaded as further evidence to support responses.
Feedback can also be submitted by email to email@example.com or by post to Strategic Planning Team, Thanet District Council, PO Box 9, Cecil Street, Margate, Kent CT9 1XZ. Please mark your comments ‘Local Plan Partial Update’.
If you would like to speak to one of the Local Plan team before making comments, please contact 01843 577591 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hard copies of the documents are available to view at all local libraries and some Town or Parish Council offices.
As part of the Local Plan update, the council has also re-opened their ‘call for sites’ to identify sites that could be classified as ‘suitable, available and deliverable’ and which could help to meet future local development needs. Agents and landowners who may have such sites to put them forward can make contact via the consultation website.