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.
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.
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.”
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.