Improvement to the SP05 section of the draft Local Plan

The current draft Local Plan for Thanet fails to acknowledge the approaching Development Consent Order to continue Manston as Aviation only, and risks costing time and Thanet tax-payers’ money.

We suggest the following  improvement to the SP05 section of the draft Local Plan for Thanet    – where it relates to Manston Airport :

We note the Crawley Borough Council Local Plan with respect to Gatwick Airport


  • Crawley Borough Council adopted their Local Plan in December 2015.
  • Crawley has a shortage of development land but despite this they still safeguarded land “just in case” it was needed for a second runway.
  • Crawley arrived at a housing need of 10,125 but their adopted plan is to deliver 5,100 dwellings leaving an unmet need of just over 5,000 dwellings.
  • Crawley agreed to review the safeguarded land once the decision on the second runway was known.
  • Crawley has been very active in negotiating with neighbouring authorities to help deliver the unmet need.


There are clear parallels between the Crawley and Thanet plans regarding their airports, so TDC could / should:


  1. Safeguard Manston for aviation use only until the DCO decision is made.
  2. Identify an unmet need of 2,500 dwellings.
  3. Agree to review the safeguarded land once a decision is made on the DCO.
  4. Agree to begin negotiations with neighbouring authorities to help deliver the unmet need should the DCO be approved.


Since the authorities neighbouring Thanet have all indicated they would like the airport to re-open then that could assist in negotiations on unmet housing need.


In light all of the above, here is a suggestion for a revised Policy SP05:

Revised SP05


This Local Plan has been prepared in the knowledge that there is an application progressing for a Development Consent Order (DCO) relating to the redevelopment of the site as a commercial airport; this has yet to be concluded. Land covered by the DCO application for the site, which may be required for airport development in the future is safeguarded against incompatible development until the government has reached a decision in relation to the airport .

A government decision on this application will have a significant impact on planning for the future of Thanet. It is anticipated that the decision will result in one of the following scenarios for Manston Airport:

  • Development consent is granted and safeguarding is lifted on any land not covered  by the DCO. Land at the airport, as identified on the proposals map, is reserved for airside development. Development proposals will require specific justification to demonstrate that an airside location is essential to the development proposed.  Development will be required to retain sufficient land to permit access by aircraft of up to 55m (180ft) wingspan to all parts of the site.
  • Development consent is declined and safeguarding is lifted
  • Development consent is declined but  the  requirement for safeguarding continues

This will result in an unmet need of 2500 dwellings subject to the outcome of the DCO application.


In the event that the site is not designated by central Government as being a Nationally Strategic Infrastructure Project or in any other way reverts to use as a commercial airport then safeguarding is lifted and land is allocated for a mixed-use settlement at the site of the former Manston Airport as defined on the policies map. The site has the capacity to deliver at least 2,500 new dwellings, and up to 85,000sqm employment and leisure floor space.


(Continuing as before ….)

The overarching principle of development of this settlement is the creation of a single sustainable settlement that can be easily served by public transport and with good, easily walk able access to central community services and other facilities.


Contributions will be required to meet the following provisions and proposals will be judged and permitted only in accordance with a development brief and comprehensive masterplan for the whole site detailing:


  • How the requirements of the Transport Strategy will be met including the upgrade of Manston Court Road and improvements to Spitfire junction.
  • The relationship to the Parkway Station and Ramsgate Port including a southern bypass of Manston village and a direct link from the site to the A299 roundabout linking with the southbound dual carriageway.
  • A travel plan to include a public transport strategy linking the site to existing services, demonstration of how the site links with and relates to neighbouring settlements;
  • Key routes for traffic-calming measures
  • Coherent phasing and evidence of deliverability
  • A business plan to demonstrate how the employment will be delivered, and how it will relate and link to Manston Business Park
  • The provision of a District Centre to meet the retail need of the development, fit within the retail hierarchy and serve the appropriate catchment, as well as provision of complementary uses such as community business space and leisure uses/recreational facilities.
  • Provision of community facilities as outlined in the Infrastructure delivery plan (IDP) including a primary school facility at 4 forms of entry, and a Doctors Surgery
  • A Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment to address
    • the visual sensitivity of the site focussing on retention of open space and protecting wide open landscape and strategic views;
    • how new built development will be designed to minimise visual impact on the open landscape of the central island. Particular attention must be given to roofscape for the purposes of minimising the mass of the buildings at the skyline when viewed from the south.
  • Design and Heritage statements to include:
    • An appropriate landscaping scheme, to be designed and implemented as an integral part of the development.
    • Provision of 31.77 Ha open space in accordance with Table 7 as required by Policy GI04, and integrated green infrastructure to include walking, cycling and equestrian routes and facilities
    • A buffer between the development and Manston Village. Settlement separation between the villages of Manston, Minster, Cliffsend and Acol and Thanet Urban Area
    • Pre design archaeological assessment
    • Links to the sites heritage to support tourism in Thanet, including consideration of proposals that would permit a limited element of aviation use[1]
    • Detail as to how the runway will be incorporated into the development scheme and what functions it will serve.
  • Provision of surface water management/sustainable drainage schemes that will not contaminate groundwater sources, and any proposed initiatives that will improve the condition of the groundwater


Development proposals must:


  • Provide an appropriate mix of dwellings to meet the requirements of Policy SP18
  • Provide affordable housing to meet the requirements of Policy SP19 (**NB SP19 is being amended to request affordable housing for more than 10 units)
  • Provide one electric car charging point for every 10 parking spaces provided
  • Consider accommodating any self-build requirements included in the self-build register
  • Contribute towards the Strategic Access Management and Monitoring scheme to meet the requirements of SP25
  • Include an assessment of the sites functionality as a roosting or feeding resource for the interest features of the Thanet Coast and Sandwich Bay SPA Protection Area, including areas within 400m of the development sites boundary, and provide mitigation where necessary
  • Retain existing boundary features where possible
  • Provide a connection to the sewerage system at the nearest point of adequate capacity, in collaboration with the service provider
  • Allow future access to the existing water supply infrastructure for maintenance and upsizing purposes
  • Provide for the installation of digital infrastructure
  • Provide a Statement of Social Impacts addressing any needs for community facilities identified in the Infrastructure Delivery Plan