Local Plan Guidance
Thanet District Council has started its 8-week public consultation of its proposed changes to the Local Plan.
The more important proposed revision is the suggestion to remove the aviation protection at Manston Airport (known as Saved Policy SP05) in order to permit mixed-use development on the site, including at least 2,500 houses.
How do I get involved?
The easiest way to get involved in the consultation is to submit your comments online. TDC has set up a special consultation website where you can register, view the proposed preferred options, and submit your comments directly.
The website is: http://consult.thanet.gov.uk (registration required)
TDC have also produced a handy Local Plan Step by Step Guide which will talk you through the entire process, from registration to submission.
Do I have to live in Thanet?
No! The beauty of the online consultation system is that anyone can make a submission. We invite SMAa supporters across the country to make a submission objecting to the proposed removal of aviation-use protection at Manston Airport.
Remember – housing on Manston Airport will benefit only the developers and TDC. Whereas an operational airport will benefit Thanet, Kent and the whole of the South East. So have your say!
Can you provide a template?
No. We will strictly not be providing any template for the submission of comments. Each submission should be individual, and “copy-and-pasted” submissions will not hold the same weight as a personally-crafted objection.
What ideas should I use in my objection?
Your objection should be unique and personal to yourself, in order that it is to successfully counter the proposed preferred options for the Local Plan.
When you object it is important to write your comments in a way that can easily be taken on board by Thanet District Council. This means sticking to key planning issues – these relate to the development and use of land, and any environmental, social and economic issues which have land use implications.
Feel free to use any or all of the following ideas in your objection.
- That Manston Airport is designated for Aviation use only, and should remain so;
- That despite TDC’s claims that several thousand houses are required, they openly admit that there are at least 3,000 empty properties in Thanet which could be repurposed;
- That any plans for housing would need significant associated infrastructure, such as electricity, gas, water and sewerage supplies;
- That the vehicular traffic associated with 2,500 houses on Manston Airport (which could equate to at least 5,000 cars, based on modern car ownership) would cause massive congestion in and around Thanet;
- That there are not enough businesses locally to support 2,500 houses;
- That Manston Airport sits on a chalk aquifer over the Palaeogene Thanet Sand Formation, which could be exhausted with a significant increase in housing.
If you can back up your comments with your own evidence, or evidence you can find through your own research, you should do so. The consultation facility allows the uploading of around 200MB of additional documentation to support your comments.
It is easy to object to the Local Plan preferred options, but in order for Thanet District Council to listen to the public, you need to suggest the only suitable use for Manston Airport – as an operational airport.
Remember: If the so-called owners of Manston Airport had not suggested building houses on the airport, this would not be in the Local Plan. None of the other proposed development sites beat the amount proposed on the airport. This goes to show that the 2,500 houses on Manston Airport are not genuinely needed.
TDC actually believe they will find an additional 2,700 houses on “windfall sites” – that is, sites which have not yet been identified, but may appear ad-hoc in the future, and this does not include Manston.
Further, SMAa have done their due-diligence, read government directives and regulations, and believe that the true Government requirement for further new housing for Thanet, by 2031, stands at under 7,000. Of these, as above, there are at least 3,000 empty properties in Thanet.
Is there really a chance that Manston will return as a working Airport ?
Yes indeed, RiverOak – or rather their UK company RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP) – are now working with the National Infrastructure Planners (PINS) to develop a set of plans to create a Development Consent Order (DCO), whereby Manston Airport is up-rated to become a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Airport, with about one cargo plane per hour, and then passenger flights are added a year or so later. But your help is needed to keep the aviation protection for Manston Airport in the Local Plan.
How long do I have?
The consultation officially ceases on 17th March 2017, although we suggest getting your objection comments in as soon as possible, in the event that the consultation is cut short for any reason.