Some 200 sites in Thanet put forward for potential development or open space designation in Local Plan review

Sites put forward following the call by Thanet council last year (image TDC)

Thanet council is considering around 200 sites on the isle that have been put forward as potential areas for development or open spaces.

Last year the council launched a ‘Call for Sites’ in which developers, landowners and members of the public were invited to put forward potential land for development.

The authority was looking for sites for housing, self/custom building, Gypsy and Traveller sites, employment space, retail, nature conservation and biodiversity offset sites and open/green spaces.

In response more than 200 plots were submitted which have now been listed on the council website. These will now be assessed against the needs in Thanet’s Local Plan review on criteria including suitability, availability and viability for the purpose proposed.

Thanet District Council has suggested two sites to be considered for affordable housing.

They are available to view on the Call for Sites page:

Sites now being reviewed

Thanet council says: “The sites have not been selected yet. We’re reviewing them all now to see if they are suitable for the use that has been proposed.

“In September 2023, when we know which sites are deemed suitable for use, there will be a chance for members of the public to comment and share their views.”

The Thanet Local Plan was adopted on 9 July 2020. It is a blueprint for development in the district up to 2031 but the review is for a partial update to cover the isle’s needs to 2040.

The plan sets out how much development is needed to support the future population and economy.

Local Plan partial update

The update to the Plan 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 plan update report from 2021 says some 548 affordable homes per year would be needed to fully meet local needs and there is also a need 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 bed spaces; 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.

The purpose of the review is:

• To consider the implications of climate change;
• To review the provisions of the Plan in relation to Manston Airport in the light of a decision on the Development Consent Order;
• To assess the implications of the Local Housing Need Methodology on housing requirements for the district;
• To consider the provision of Gypsy & Traveller sites to meet the requirements set out in Policy HO22; and
• To ensure compatibility with the most recent National Planning Policy Framework.

However, The Telegraph is reporting today that Secretary of State for housing Michael Gove has scrapped mandatory housebuilding targets. This may mean changes to the Local Plan and a reduction in properties needed.

Target reduction plea

However, earlier this year Thanet council leader Ash Ashbee said she would be raising an argument with central government to get the housing need target for Thanet reduced and the review pushed back by 14 months, saying: “I do not think we are (currently) in a position to make a decision regarding an extra 4,500 homes.

“I’m asking for an extension to push it back by 14 months. That will give us time to raise more arguments regarding extra housing. There is a lot of work to push back the housing requirement numbers.”

Thanet councillors voted to move forward with the Draft Local Plan in July 2018 after it was initially voted down in January of that year. The January vote failed after 35 councillors rejected it due to revisions that included axing the aviation-use only designation at the Manston airport site.

The plan includes the re-allocation of 2,500 homes to greenfield sites in Westgate, Birchington, Minster, Margate and Westwood.

Campaigners’ reaction

Campaign groups have been voicing their objections to large developments on farmland, including in Westgate, Garlinge, Birchington and Minster.

A spokesperson for Minster Action Group said: “MAG is horrified at the scale of sites offered up for the TDC call for sites. Minster Village and Parish and Monkton village are effectively under siege, literally surrounded on all sides by potential development. Both villages are at imminent threat of being turned into one large urban sprawl.

“We are concerned too that the TDC Sustainability assessment consulted on last year by the council has to date provided the public with no feedback and how this fits into the latest call for sites. It is seemingly being ignored currently. MAG urges TDC to be open and transparent, advising the public on their process for deciding which sites will go forward to be consulted on, what criteria will be used to assess the sites and who will decide, publishing clearly what evidence is used to assess suitability.

“What is really worrying is that the UK is in the midst of a food security crisis and the call for sites threatens even more of the Thanet prime agricultural land, lost forever once built on. That is an absolute scandal and we urge TDC to do their bit to protect this pressure commodity now.

“The latest news from Michael Gove is promising in terms of national policy change but nothing is certain in politics and we need our local representatives to support this cause.”

A update on the process can be watched at

Council leader reveals plan to ‘push back’ review on extra 4,500 isle homes and bid to lower housing target


  1. Decisions,decisions! Housing developments or open ,green spaces?
    Let me see. In favour of open green spaces would be many , if not most, Thanet residents. If they had a voice , local wildlife species would probably opt for open spaces, as well. In fact, the planet itself may well prefer to have open green spaces with newly-planted trees.
    In favour of house building would be property developers!
    So it looks like it will be housing, then. No contest!

  2. Keefogs,

    Agree entirely with your view. It will be houses, houses and more money making houses. Any green land will only be where there isn’t enough room to squeeze in another HOUSE!
    The government, of either persuasion along with an eagerly compliant TDC will not rest until Thanet is smothered in enough housing to sink this Isle and all of us along with it. MONEY IS KING!

  3. Does not matter how many houses are built it will not solve Thanets housing problem because they will be sold to people out of the area, social housing is whats needed for locals.We have become an area of traffic jams and queues wheres the new hospitals/doctor surgery schools nursery places and of course roads that are not jam packed at schools times, we cannot get enough doctors/nurses here now ,Thanet has been ruined by all these houses.
    Lay off our farmers fields enough is enough

  4. “Thanet councillors voted to move forward with the Draft Local Plan in July 2018 after it was initially voted down in January of that year. The January vote failed after 35 councillors rejected it due to revisions that included axing the aviation-use only designation at the Manston airport site.

    The plan includes the re-allocation of 2,500 homes to greenfield sites in Westgate, Birchington, Minster, Margate and Westwood”

    Thanet Councilors hides the fact the UKIP defectors and the Tories under Bayford combined to move the 2500 houses onto farmland, now Ash (ex Kipper) wants to stop houses being built on farmland.
    Don’t know about you but that smacks of hypocrisy. The two Tory MPs ought to hang their heads in shame

    • Ash – the indignant puffer fish (ex kipper ) kicking the ball down the road so a decision will not have to be made by the liars and thieves in powers at present .
      It will all be some body else’s responsibility- those that left the mess will be long gone

  5. What will TDC do with all this extra council tax,find a way to waste it on more arty stuff ,bets please

  6. We have a massive brownfield site at manston. Ideal on the edge of thanet
    We definitely dont want a polluting airport so to build on there would be an environmental win win. Do accept we must build houses as people have got to live somewhere

      • Thats nonsense Peter! A planning application was submitted to build 4,000 dwellings, with open spaces, light industry, schools, clinics, etc, which would have created a self contained village, its begging to be developed for housing!

    • How about you stop pretending your opinions are everyones and peddling statements that arent true. Just because you dont want the airport you cant just write “we dont want” it. Remember your opinion isnt everyones, some of us actually want an airport.

    • Where are all these people coming from? A lot of older people live in Thanet so surely they’re not the ones procreating. I thought family sizes were getting smaller, so who are the houses for?

  7. Waste more money ….what happened to all the money for the rusty wreck called the art barge …in our lovely harbour …total eye sore

    • It’s waiting to go on the slip, as Jim the slip manager will tell you if you ask him, rather than just trolling. Good plans for the barge …. I think it’s going to be a real asset.

  8. Greedy land owners looking to cash in on an inept council; TDC willingly considering making Thanet one urban sprawl.
    The doublespeak is so blatant – politicians say the review is deferred for 14 months yet officers are carrying on with the review regardless! Do the officers and elected members talk to each other?
    It is time for all the parish and town councils to get together and call for complete openess and honesty from TDC.

  9. We should vigorously oppose ANY more development unless, of course, we want to live in Thanet City in which case why not plan that properly? If we just keep adding housing without infrastructure such as hospitals, doctors surgeries, schools, roads, water supplies and sewage disposal facilities we’ll end up even more of an urban mess than we have already without essential services. By the way does anyone know WHO all these houses are for?

  10. None of this solves the housing problem when all I am seeing are people being moved into the area from other Burroughs, out into a half way house in my road where I live, to be then placed in permanent accommodation. How many other Burroughs own the housing being built and that has already been built here???

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