Permission for ‘bund screened’ homes in Manston refused

Impression of the two homes screened by the earth bund (Image Sterling Architecture)

Permission has been refused for a pair of 3-bed detached homes at land off Mannock Drive in Manston.

The 0.2 hectares site was earmarked to build the homes which would have been screened by an earth bund. The application was the sixth to be submitted for development on the plot since 2019, each of which have been refused.

The application by Mr Sturge of Premier Construction Ltd said: “The proposal is to build a pair of detached 3-bedroom single storey dwellings set down into the landscape and fully screened by an earth bund to avoid any adverse visual impact to the character and appearance of the area.

“This planning application differs from the previous proposals for the site and has been designed to specifically overcome the previous grounds for refusal.”

Image Sterling Architecture

But the proposal prompted a scathing objection from Minster Parish Council which said: “There is a worryingly long history associated with this particular parcel of land which has been complicated by the failure of the original developer to complete the original site as per the consented applications for the 34 dwellings, roads, boundary treatments and tree planting scheme:

“The parcel of land was supposed to be an amenity area right from the outset of the original application in 2003 for 34 dwellings – and should therefore not be described as vacant as made out in this application. It may appear vacant, but that is only because of the failings of the developer since then.”

The parish council outlined how a number of similar applications had already been refused, including at appeal, and highlighted “the sorry saga” of the Manston Park Living development also from a company headed by Mr Sturge.

In June last year Manston Park Living Ltd was found guilty of failure to comply with two Breach of Condition Notices in a successfully prosecution by Thanet District Council.

The case was heard at Margate Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 20 June and resulted in a guilty verdict and fines and charges totalling £6,250.

The notices related to overdue work and landscaping that should have been completed at the Manston Park Living development on Manston Road. The breaches included failure to provide a play area for the children of local residents.

It is understood that there is now a timescale from the court to complete, trees and gate and fence works by March 31st, the meadow to be sown by the end of May and playground and path works to be completed by the end of August.

Nine other objections were received highlighting concerns such as planning breaches with the Manston Living site and repeated applications for the new  build as well as questions as to whether the development would be completed and the issue of part of the application site being subject of an ownership dispute.

A planning officer report concludes: “This application would see the erection of two dwellings and it is recognised that there are some economic and social benefits from new residential development, given the identified need for housing in the district.

“The proposed development, by virtue of its location, layout and design, would, however, result in the loss of the existing open space which is out of character with surrounding residential development, being set back from Manston Road by landscaped areas.

“The design of the dwellings, their excavated level and orientation would also be at odds with the cohesive layout and character and appearance of the existing development to the south and east of the application site.

“As such it is considered that the development would result in significant harm to the character and appearance of the area. It is also considered that the proposed development would provide a poor standard of accommodation for future residents.

“Given the above, it is considered that the loss of the landscape buffer, the poor relationship of the proposed development with the existing residential development and the poor standard of residential amenity for future residents outweighs any benefits from the two new residential units proposed.”



  1. Glad to see Thanet DC standing up to builders. So much “environmental” advantages are promised when developers apply for Planning Permission, but, too often, the promises don,t materialise. Except maybe some saplings planted with little care and then left to die of neglect.
    If they promise “affordable” homes, or play areas, or wildlife areas or native hedgerows, they should be checked regularly and MADE to keep their promises. They make enough money by laying waste to the countryside!

  2. Mr Sturge & his company Manston park living Ltd are leaving it late to get the work done before the courts deadline for first part which he/they has been fined for, will they be taken back to court for non compliance of order, I certainly hope if its not completed either both or Mr Sturge or company are taken back to court, permission granted 2003 and 20 years later still not finished??.

    • There is another court date (I think it’s 23rd April) to check that he has complied with the first two elements of the enforcement notice.

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