Thanet council puts forward proposal to develop almost 300 council homes in Margate and Manston

A design of how the Shottendane development could look (image BPTW)

Thanet council has put forward two areas of land owned by the authority to be used for ‘100% affordable’ council homes development as part of its Local Plan review.

An update to the Thanet Local Plan – a blueprint for housing, business and infrastructure on the isle – has been extended to cover the period to 2040  and includes the need for land/sites to accommodate an additional 4,000-4,500 dwellings unless latest government announcements over axing building targets change this position.

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.

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 and/or open space.

Some 200 sites have been submitted for consideration. These include Thanet council submissions for greenfield land off Shottendane Road in Margate and behind The Leys in Manston.

Shottendane Road

Thanet council says a 14ha site between Shottendane Road and Hartsdown Road could be used for 220-260 homes with a 50/50 split of open space and residential to ensure it is not over developed.

The submission says: “The site shall provide 100% affordable housing with a unit mix. Units shall align to ‘nearly zero energy homes.

“Dwellings proposed shall reflect the council’s desire to provide quality, accessible and sustainable affordable housing.”

The development would include a community garden, access road, driveways, garages and parking courts.

The submission says proposed development at Shottendane Road aims to achieve:

  • A landscape led masterplan creating exemplary family homes within a sustainable development.
  • Creating a vibrant residential extension to Margate, improving local connections, integrating the new community with the existing
  • Focusing on the benefits of healthy living creating a parkland setting for new homes providing a range of landscape amenity
  • Celebrating local distinctiveness with a contemporary vernacular drawing from a unique coastal and rural location on the fringes of Margate.

New tree planting and wildlife measures are also included as well as plans to retain the majority of the existing trees and vegetation , designed to retain surface water and provide new habitat for wildlife. Sustainable drainage systems will also be included.

The Leys, Manston

The site at Manston, which is accessed from Spratling Street, is currently leased to a farmer but owned by Thanet council.

The authority is suggesting developing the northern half of the site with up to 35 affordable/council homes which could be a mix of 3-bed houses and flats, along with a convenience store.

Image BPTW

The remaining 50% of the site area is left as open space for potential future development. A pedestrian link to the adjacent Manston Park is also planned.

‘TDC committed to building new council homes’

Thanet council’s Shottendane submission says: “Tackling poverty is a priority for the council and TDC is committed to building new council homes which are accessible and affordable to those on low incomes.

“Over the years we have seen a historic decline in stock numbers – particularly  through right to buy sales, but we are aiming for this trend to be reversed through our council new-build programmes.

“Thanet District Council has committed to delivering 30 affordable housing units per year for the next 10 years as part of TDC Affordable Homes Programme.

“The demand for housing for these groups far outstrips the current supply. The number of affordable homes delivered in the district in the last five financial years has been exceedingly low. The low delivery of affordable housing in recent years means it is crucial to maximise the number of affordable homes to be delivered over the duration of the current TDC Housing Strategy 2021-25 and beyond.

“Taking a lead in developing new homes in Thanet, the council intends to deliver newbuild council housing that is energy efficient for our tenants. The council will work in partnership with other registered providers, developers, land owners, community land, housing and charitable trusts, commissioners and specialist providers to deliver the homes the district requires.

“The council will encourage self-build and custom-built housing and will decide and explore if it is feasible to set up its own housing company to deliver its own homes as an additional delivery option.

“In order to increase the number of homes each year, the council will be looking to capitalise on opportunities to acquire more properties, develop new homes on council owned land and intervene in the local market to buy sites which may otherwise not come forward.”

Thanet council adds: “The delivery of affordable housing is a significant priority for the council, and we have our own programme of developing new affordable homes for rent.
“If these sites do progress through the local plan process, then the delivery of affordable, rented council-owned homes would be a priority.”

The 200 sites put forward following the council call last year are now being reviewed to see if they are suitable for the use that has been proposed.

In September 2023, residents will be able to comment on sites selected as suitable for use.

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

Government plans to scrap mandatory housebuilding targets, promote brownfield development and introduce holiday let registration


  1. Again more help to buy homes from TDC,how about building council housing for renting to help the people on the housing waiting list ,not everyone can buy homes .

    • Hence the provision of a convenience store. But i’d not believe it until it was built and open. With from the drawing a max of 100 homes that might conceivably use it, it’d hardly be a viable concern and likely vanish between approval and housing completions.

    • It should be allowed but needs to account for infrastructure that encourages residents not to drive.
      It’s crazy that the Manston site is allowed to lay fallow for the benefit of hedgefund speculators while we have so many problems it could address.

  2. Good idea in principal. We need Council housing tho’, not so called affordable housing. Both sites are on needed farmland being the major problem to my mind and do not forget that Government quotas are now only guidelines, not an edict!

    • The traditional cheap council housing was built many decades ago and paid for soon after, it owes the council nothing and so can be rented cheap, however it’s in poor condition and needs updating the current rents don’t support such improvement so councils will keep begging for a taxpayer handout , like the 40 billion spent on the decent homes standard. People whine about paying a private landlords mortgage but happily see council housing get even greater amounts of cash.
      Anything new built by councils needs to pay its way, so rents have to be affordable and not traditional low social , or is the taxpayer to dig deep yet again to subsidise rents. Even with free land, the cost of building new homes is not cheap, goverment grants are about 14% of the cost the rest needs to come from the council and borrowing, so say a 75k loan at 5% the rent needs to be at least 300 a month to cover the interest , then add on for insurance, repairs, legislative costs, the housing department staff etc etc etc. And ideally there needs to be a surplus to repay the councils input and save for further new development.

      • The maintenance for Council homes to rent is mostly covered in the Government’s patchy Green HOMES grant retrofitting all down at heal social housing. You already pay much in tax and they spend it how they want to win votes.

    • Can we really give over are farm land to housing what happens for our food chain? Will we be able to buy from abroad a d at what cost. I was always told cut your pattern according to your cloth, we can not keep giving land to housing we will soon end up as a third world county

      • Politicians are always going to get more complaints about lack of housing than the price of carrots, so housing is more important. The country has no appetite to either work harder and be more productive and we pay too many people to do too little, so we need more cheap labour, so we let more people into the country who need housing. We also live in the SE of england where too many people want to be and in turn attract more, so the houses need to be here in the south east. Without radical change , more and more homes will be built. There’s no way round it.

  3. So, the TDC planners and planning committee will be asked to consider a planning application put forward by TDC – I wonder what the outcome will be?

  4. if they keep going they will concrete over the lot ! gardens , farmland , allotments you name it , this will come back to bite them on the ar*e one day

  5. Build on the defunct airport site. The biggest brownfield location in Kent. Obsessively preserved by the vocal minority and Ash Ashby.

    • The more and more farm land that gets turned into housing the more stupid its makes TDC decisions to support manston airport.

      There was a good housing plan for manston. Now the house building around the villages and towns is out of control.

      It’s clear the infrastructure cant cope. Haine Road queues from lord of the manor what will Haine Road be like once all those new houses are built along it to lord of the manor ?
      The only land not being built on is Jacky Pallo old place that cant get planning permission lol.

      Thanks to TDC, there must also be plans for building 1000’s of houses around the new parkway station. Why else build that in the middle of a field ?

    • Absolutely Emmeline! Its already been scoped to build 4,000 dwellings on the Manston site, with lots of recreational/parkland, Hi tec light industry, clinics etc, its begging to be developed as its own village!

    • The sensible solution would be to use Manston as a large solar electric / windfarm site to produce energy. That would save other agricultural locations being built over.

  6. Just no, there is already over development & Manston traffic is already horrendous. You have to drive to get anything there.

  7. NOOOOO! Have TDC Planning Department and Council Leader, Cllr Ash Ashbee, not seen today’s BBC news about the government’s planning targets being abandoned in favour of giving councils more control of their own districts? If previous targets change the area significantly, they can be abandoned. Look at the journey to and from Westwood Cross and Haine Road to Lord of the Manor for a start. It is gridlocked every day already! Thanet used to be semi-rural. Due to a certain farmer selling his land, we are now becoming an urban district.

  8. The problem is that “affordable” housing and council housing just brings in the people who pay no property taxes, are on benefits and add nothing to the community except debt. There should be a much more balanced approach with new housing development at every level of quality. Expensive housing creates jobs and income which then balances the other end of the spectrum. If you don’t have both the community descends into slums.

  9. Green arable land again we need to grow more of all food produce that we can and only import what our climate will not let us grow, this will cut out some of the emissions as local transmissions will be about the same, growing more of our own is imperitive if we don’t want to rely on other countries like we have, I have just heard the government is definitely changing the law/rules on house building etc which I’m hoping this will ease greenbelt land being used as much we’ve seen enough of it around Thanet, not against houses being built here but we have a lot of ground in the towns of Thanet and without having to fell a lot of trees.

  10. How many of you whingers are home owners have forgot your parents brought you up in a council house typical nibys we still need agricultural land to be self sufficiency we are all commoners not filthy rich people around here want jobs don’t judge them Thanet has always had this problem when I was younger we all worked during the season no.problem then you were allowed to sign on but not for long as they know unemployment went up again from season to season now this season has finished barring a few business people go and sign on again they are not lazy don’t forget we have a large population of elderly residents what’s happening to being kind and understanding to people worse off from those who buy manynof them probably caused the shortage by buying their council house or flat and thinknthey are better than their neighbours.

    • Hi Brian nicely put, I used to be a home owner/buying not council working up till 56 years old made redundant even with help would not be able to afford mortgage we ended up renting then ended up in council flat due to needs am in housing association all in ten years I tell you it don’t half hit you when you loose just about everything even having a friend put you up at their home, I get completely what you said even though mine is different circumstances and you are right about some think there better than the person next door, you can tell who they are just look into their eyes,

  11. BUILD ON MANSTON! Implement the plan for decent homes (to passiv standards and really affordable) and an industrial park with green energy workshops, etc. Business rates paying the council.
    Lots of skilled and semi-skilled jobs, capacity to train new staff, residents able to walk to work!
    Create an architect competition to attract brilliant plans for the site.
    Lots of council rented homes with prohibitions on “rights to buy” so rents will continue to supply council coffers.
    A community orchard and allotments, mature tree planting for a new wild woodland. More trees and hedges surrounding the new site to create wildlife corridors and windbreaks.
    I’m no specialist but these are ideas about using the site to benefit the community as a whole.

    • Have tou any idea how much it costs to build to passive haus standard? If so how can you equate that to “really affordable”, should there be a trade off between lower running costs and higher rent/purchase costs? Will those that occupy passive houses use them in a manner that makes the most of their design? Put half as many homes in a given space and you are effectively doubling the land cost for each home.
      How much do you expect tax payers living in older less efficent homes with small gardens to contribute towards offering cheap rents in energy efficient houses with large gardens/open spaces to those on lower incomes? Those taxpayers would probably have other things they’d like to spend their money on.

  12. The biggest problem I see is that to little to late.
    Wrong that green land is being used but 30 house’s a year. How about once agreement is given it states that they have to start building within 6/8 months.
    With completion 2/4 years depending on size.
    Just a thought

    • Very unlikely the council has the money to build all the homes in one go, more probable that they’ll be dependent on annual grant funding and surpluses from other parts of the councils social housing stock.

  13. It could be done,no grant needed . Why don’t they get a Bank loan surely that’s possible????.
    it’s possible that if they did, (it wouldn’t) house price drop and people may be able to get a home.
    They built better and quicker solid homes not that long ago

    • No, they need the grant money to keep the amount they need to borrow as low as possible as the rent needs to cover not only insurance/maintenance/repair/ management costs but as a minimum the interest on any loan , these costs already mean that new build social housing is already more expensive than the old stock in terms of rent and that’s taking into account grant funding. Or are thanets council tax payers to subsidise the councils rents?

  14. People may be surprised to learn that in Thanet 1) ’empties’ have risen by 18% and 2) ‘second homes’ by 10% over the last 12 months (see Empty Homes Agency Report). A lax Air BnB policy is driving out private sector rentals and someone may yet connect this phenomenon with the homeless increase. Taking in Metropolitan ‘social laundry’ is not helping those with a more ‘territorial’ claim (and even disrupting their local employment situations if driven elsewhere ?) At the same time there is a potential 300,000+ ‘brownfield homes’ capacity in the Metropolis (and 0ver 100,000 in the outer SE – and of course ‘food security’ is rather higher on the agenda these days thanks to Vladimir. Prime agricultural land should therefore be very much at a premium and no doubt the Local Plan Forum will be concerned to address ’empties’, AirBnB and ‘brownfield’ long before it gets round to further concreting over the green ? ‘Bottom up’ thinking may reveal that we do not actually need a population increase of at least 25% absent an East Kent Engine/Powerhouse Thanet ??? ‘Brownfield’ is supposed to be the priority – let’s see how forked that tongue is !

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