Draft Thanet Local Plan - 2031 - Pre-Submission Publication, Regulation 19

Strategic Priorities and Objectives

35 The following strategic priorities and objectives set out what this Plan is seeking to do in order to achieve the Council's vision and deliver sustainable development for the district. (No order of priority is implied)

Strategic Priority 1 - Create additional employment and training opportunities, to strengthen and diversify the local economy and improve local earning power and employability.


  • Support the diversification and expansion of existing businesses in Thanet, with a focus on advanced manufacturing, emerging technologies, tourism, culture and leisure , and provide the right environment to attract inward investment.
  • Retain and attract skilled people.
  • Support the sustainable growth of Ramsgate Port.
  • Support additional improvements to high speed rail links that will achieve further reduction of journey times.
  • Provide a sufficient and versatile supply of land to accommodate expansion and inward investment by existing and new businesses.
  • Facilitate the provision of accessible, modern and good quality schools, as well as higher and further education and training facilities to meet the expectations of employers and of a confident, inclusive and skilled community.
  • a Take advantage of the area’s unique coast, countryside, its townscape and cultural heritage and potential of the coastal towns, while safeguarding the natural environment.
  • Support a sustainable rural economy, recognising the importance of best and most versatile agricultural land.

Strategic Priority 2 - Facilitate the continued regeneration of the coastal town centres, developing their individual niche roles, while also consolidating the role and function of Westwood as Thanet’s primary retail centre, ensuring retail expenditure is retained in the district.


  • Guide investment in the coastal towns to support the tourism economy and provide for the needs of local communities.
  • Reshape Margate town centre and seafront to achieve a sustainable economic heart celebrating its traditions as a place of relaxation, leisure and seaside fun and growing reputation as a cultural destination.
  • Assist Ramsgate to achieve its full potential capitalising on its historical and nautical heritage and visitor economy.
  • Enhance Broadstairs’ role as a popular location for visitors and the local community.
  • Enable Westwood to consolidate and evolve as an accessible, successful and sustainable residential and business community with an excellent range of homes, schools, leisure, sports, shops and other facilities in an attractive environment.

Strategic Priority 3 - Provide homes that are accessible to, and suited to the needs and aspirations of, a settled and balanced community.


  • Plan for sufficient new homes to meet local community need so that, irrespective of income or tenure, people have access to good quality and secure accommodation.
  • Meet the housing needs and demands of a balanced and mixed community and to support economic growth.
  • Safeguard family homes and the character and amenity of residential areas.
  • Increase the supply of good quality affordable homes.
  • Improve the environment and the quality and mix of housing in areas needing revitalisation to restore mixed and confident communities.

Strategic Priority 4 - Safeguard local distinctiveness and promote awareness, responsible enjoyment, protection and enhancement of Thanet's environment, including the coast, countryside, rich seaside heritage, historic environment, diverse townscapes and landscape, biodiversity and water environment.


  • Accommodate the development needed to optimise access to jobs, key services and facilities required to promote the physical and mental well-being, independence and quality of life of all sections of the community, and retain young people.
  • Preserve and enhance Thanet’s exceptional built historic environment and ancient monuments and their settings, and historic and designed landscapes.
  • Safeguard and enhance the geological and scenic value of the coast and countryside, and facilitate its responsible enjoyment as a recreational and educational resource.
  • Conserve and enhance the character of Thanet’s landscapes, while meeting the area’s social and economic needs
  • Retain the separation between Thanet’s towns and villages as well as their physical identity and character.
  • Protect, maintain and enhance the district’s biodiversity and natural environment, including open and recreational space to create a coherent network of Green Infrastructure that can better support wildlife and human health.
  • Mitigate and adapt to the forecast impacts of climate change (including the water environment, air quality, biodiversity and flooding).
  • Use natural resources more efficiently, increase energy efficiency, the use of renewable and low carbon energy sources, to reduce the district's carbon footprint.
  • Facilitate improvements within areas characterised by poor quality housing, empty property and poor physical environment.
  • Ensure that all new development is built to the highest attainable quality and sustainability standards and enhances its local environment.
  • Reduce opportunities for crime and the fear of crime
  • Ensure Thanet's community has access to good quality social and health services
  • Broaden and improve the range of active leisure facilities to encourage greater participation within the local community.
  • Support the social, economic and physical revitalisation of Margate and Cliftonville West in line with community aspirations and through partnership working.

Strategic Priority 5 - Deliver the infrastructure required to support existing communities and new development, including an efficient and effective transport system.


  • Promote development patterns and behaviour that will minimise the need to travel or use private cars to access services and amenities.
  • Facilitate the enhanced integration of the High Speed 1 network with the wider public transport and highway network by supporting infrastructure that would maximise its benefits
  • Promote an efficient public transport system alongside expansion of larger scale transport infrastructure.
  • Facilitate provision of direct walking and cycling routes to reduce potential congestion, noise and pollution.
  • Deliver required improvements to the road network in order to reduce congestion and pollution, and to accommodate new development.
  • Facilitate the provision of infrastructure required to support new development and communities.
  • Ensure development safeguards public and commercial water supplies in the principal chalk aquifer