Proposed Revisions to Draft Local Plan (Preferred Options)

1. Preferred Options Revisions

Section 2 - Revised Policy SP05 - Former Airport Site

2.1 Following the closure of Manston Airport in May 2014 the Council has made significant efforts to support a functioning aviation use on the site and has explored its CPO powers in seeking an indemnity partner and has carried out extensive soft market testing to seek an airport operator to run the airport.

2.2 In order to satisfy the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which states that planning policies should avoid the long term protection of sites allocated for employment use where there is no reasonable prospect of a site being used for that purpose the Council commissioned an airport viability study by Avia Solutions. This was to look at whether an airport was a viable option for the site within the plan period to 2031. This report took into account national and international air travel and transport and the way in which it is likely to develop over the next 15 to 20 years and looked at previous reports and developments in national aviation.

2.3 The report concluded that airport operations at Manston are very unlikely to be financially viable in the longer term, and almost certainly not possible in the period to 2031.

2.4 Taking on board the conclusions of the airport viability report and given the level of objectively assessed housing need the Council considers that the best use for this 320ha brownfield site is for a mixed use development primarily focused on residential.

2.5 The policy seeks to create an attractive sustainable free standing new settlement with a district centre and featuring all the amenities needed for a town. Development will also deliver important links across Thanet and improved access to and from the site and provide open space and community facilities that the whole of Thanet can access.

 SP05 - Former Airport Site

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 floorspace.

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 walkable 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


Former Airport site


1. Number of flights below the threshold that would require a statutory licence. [back]