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

Quex Park

9.13 Quex Park Estate is set in 250 acres of parkland and trees in Thanet's otherwise wide open landscapes.

9.14 The major attraction and point of interest is the Powell Cotton Museum which is one of the finest collections of natural history and ethnographic artefacts in existence.

9.15 The Quex Park Estate contains a wealth of heritage assets. The Mansion House dates back to the early 1400s but this was demolished between 1769 and 1849 by John Powell who replaced it with an elegant Regency home. There are also acres of historic gardens and natural woodland with traditional Victorian layout and landscaping which includes built heritage of a walled garden and green houses.

9.16 Other heritage assets at Quex Park include the Three Towers - the Round Tower built in 1814, the Waterloo Tower built in 1819 and the clock tower above the listed coach house. The turret clock, by Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy, was installed in 1837 and chimes the quarters and the hour.

9.17 Quex Park farms 607 hectares in-house plus a further 607 hectares under contract agreements with other local farmers. The profitability of farming alone was not able to provide for the upkeep of the historic buildings and parkland despite registration for charitable status. As a result the Estate has diversified its many redundant buildings.

9.18 Therefore as well as the museum, house and gardens, Quex Estate incorporates Quex Barn farmers' market and restaurant, Jungle Jims children's indoor and outdoor play area, the Secret Garden centre, a paintballing arena, the Quex Maize Maze, the Craft Village, Build a Base (an indoor games arena) and Mama Feelgoods Boutique café. In addition to these individually managed enterprises the Estate also hosts weddings. The Estate as a whole employs in the region of 140 people.

The following policy seeks to promote further development of the Quex Park Estate to support its diversification as a local enterprise, providing valuable economic and tourism benefits whilst protecting the Parks character, heritage and biodiversity.

Policy E14 - Quex Park

Farm diversification projects and tourism and leisure development at Quex Park Estate will be supported where they contribute to the upkeep of the Quex House and Gardens and the Powell-Cotton Museum and promote the Estate as a destination for tourism and leisure. Projects should be in keeping with the parkland character of the Estate, conserve and enhance the heritage assets and the Park's biodiversity.

Applications that are likely to have an impact on the highway network must be accompanied by a Transport Assessment in accordance with Policy TP01.