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

Language Schools

9.10 Thanet contains a considerable number of language schools and a large percentage of students using these services stay with Thanet families or as paying guests. In 2013 language schools turnover was an estimated £19.7 million with approximately £6.3 million paid to an estimated 2,800 host families in the district. Students total spend in Thanet was an estimated £33.6 million and language schools created around 1,000 jobs. (TDC - Economic Impact of Language Schools/EFL Providers 2013 - Final Report)

9.11 English language schools in Thanet are therefore a major contributor to the local economy, and offer potential for encouraging the next generation of visitors to this part of Kent. The Council wishes to encourage growth in this sector of the economy.

9.12 However language schools can cause issues with noise and disturbance particularly where there are concentrations of such facilities in an area potentially resulting in large gatherings of young people. These issues need to be balanced with the benefit to the local economy, as set out in the following policy.

Policy E13 - Language Schools

Language schools will be permitted subject to:

1) The number of students to be accommodated, the hours of operation, the range of facilities provided and the relationship with adjoining properties not resulting in an unacceptable impact on the amenities of adjacent occupiers or on the character of an area as a whole through noise or general disturbance;

2) The use of the property as a language school not resulting in an over-concentration of such uses in a particular locality to a level where the character of that area is materially altered.