Plans to build 118 homes at Flambeau Europlast site in Ramsgate with factory relocation proposed

Flambeau Europlast in Manston Road

Proposals to build 118 homes at the Flambeau Europlast site in Ramsgate have been submitted to Thanet council.

The aim is to relocate the moulded thermoplastic products factory from Manston Road to one of the isle’s business parks, enabling the current building to be demolished to make way for homes.

The proposal follows the grant of outline planning permission in 2017 for a similar residential redevelopment which has since expired.

The 3.5 hectare site is earmarked for 76 houses and 42 flats with a total of 222 parking spaces.

Planning documents say a risk assessment concluded no indications of contamination could be found that would render the site unsuitable for residential redevelopment.

Survey work carried out between July and September 2023 found a ‘low’ population of common lizards that would be moved to a receptor site on the northern boundary of the development to an area of unmanaged grassland, scrub and trees.

Image Hume Planning Consultancy Ltd

Planning documents say a key consideration for the applicant remains the need to relocate the Flambeau business to a Thanet Business Park, adding: “The applicant has discussed this relocation with the Economic Development Team of Thanet District Council for some time. It will be understood however that a relocation of this type is a significant and complex matter that involves decision making over a period of years.

“Unfortunately, recent events, such as COVID, have only served to prolong this process. The decision of the applicant to submit this new application however reflects Flambeau’s continued commitment to seeking a way forward that will enable the business to adapt and grow to the benefit of the economic welfare of the community.

“There are practical reasons why operationally the existing business premises does not function effectively for the applicant:  The condition of the building – the roof structure is a complex construction which is in need of constant and costly ongoing repair. The age and condition of the building is poor and does not promote serious long-term investment.

“Sustainability – the building is costly to heat and insulate. The configuration of the site and building does not suit plastic manufacturing and the industrial process because of the frequent “double handling” of goods and difficulties with loading and unloading.

“To compete with other plastic manufacturers, it is important that Flambeau updates and modernises so that the production is made more efficient to help reduce operational costs and ensure that staff time is utilised more effectively.

“For a combination of these reasons, the existing building is hampering an efficient production process and has deterred investment by the applicant in new machinery. This application will allow these barriers to increased productivity and investment to be lifted.

Image Hume Planning Consultancy Ltd

“Residential redevelopment of the site will increase the existing use value of the site, generating funds to assist with the relocation and long-term investment of the company in Thanet and the purchase of up-to-date machinery to enhance the competitive position of the business in the long term. The applicant, Flambeau, is one of the biggest employers in the district and it is therefore important to the Thanet economy.”

Planning documents say there is  a “ very strong likelihood that the development will not be capable of delivering affordable housing or make full planning obligation payments to meet the relevant community infrastructure needs,” adding: “While regrettable, this position was clearly evidenced and accepted on the previous application and in view of the emergence of strong economic headwinds since 2017, issues around financial viability continue to undermine the ability of the scheme to deliver the full range of policy and consultee planning obligation requirements/requests.”

Image Hume Planning Consultancy Ltd

Flambeau began business in the US in 1947 and has become a company of over 2,500 associates and a manufacturer of complex parts, sub-assemblies, and finished consumer products for over 40 unique industries.

In 1999 Flambeau expanded into Europe with purchase of UK Blow Moulder, Blowspeed in Ramsgate,, quickly following with the acquisition of L & P Plastics of Margate in 2000, integrating it into Flambeau Europlast of Ramsgate. Data shows the Ramsgate site currently has around 60 staff.

A decision on the application is yet to be made. It can be viewed on Thanet council’s planning portal, reference OL/TH/24/0200.

13 Comments

  1. Have TDC not learned by the carnage of Westwood Cross, put the infrastructure in first, make the greedy developers do that first, instead of the developers building the houses and then doing a runner with the money leaving pavements not completed, no promised schools GP surgeries etc.

    • I’d love to agree with you about putting in the infrastructure before the houses, but whilst TDC planning deal with the housing development applications, it’s KCC who control the roads, GPs and schools. The problem is that the developers only pay KCC financial contributions for these things out of their profits – in other words after the properties are sold and occupied.

  2. This is getting beyond silly now , there is no primary and secondary schools or doctors,dentists and even jobs . The people that live in thanet are struggling with this all and now more people are being added . Because our residents aren’t going to get them even though we could do with all them lively new houses being built in that area.

  3. Poor infrastructure and no additional schools, doctors, or dentists to service the residents which will occupy the new homes.

    • Can anyone tell me how the developers or the council or the planners or the government can ensure that there are GPs or dentists on the development?? These are unrelated matters! Why do you all keep banging about that when there is nothing that can we done at the local level to change that situation?

      • The lack of services doesn’t seem like an unrelated matter to me. I take your point that there may be relatively little that can be done at local level to provide adequate numbers of GPs, dentists etc. but central government does have a responsibility to ensure that these sectors are expanded.
        I think people keep ‘banging on’ because increasing pressure on services that are, in many areas, already next to non-existent seems like madness.

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