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Former Manston Airport owners to submit housing plans to Thanet District Council

Manston airport

Manston airport

The developers of the former Manston airport site have made a series of promises after revealing the date they will submit their plans to Thanet District Council.

It comes after a period of consultation between the public and the owners of Stone Hill Park.

Plans will be submitted on Friday, May 27, and will include proposals for about 2,500 homes to be built over the next 20 years.

These plans shown in March outlined employment opportunities and the building of around 2,500 homes

Developers will aim to keep more than 25% of green space on the site and make heritage an important factor in the design.

Any buildings that were more than four storeys high have been reduced - so no horizon line or view for any residents is lost.

However, it could be three years before any bulldozers enter the site.

Manston airport spokesman Ray Mallon said: "The whole plan is geared to kick-start the economy of Thanet and it will take around 20 years.

"I also don't believe we will actually get on site, if we manage to get through the planning stage, until about 2019 - there is an awful lot of work to do.

Ray Mallon says plans for Stone Hill Park will be submitted to Thanet District Council on Friday, May 27.

"We aren't going to be coming along with 50 bulldozers and building everything overnight.

"TDC have 16 weeks to make a decision on our application although because of the size of it they might need a bit longer.

"However, if they don't pass it we'll appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.

"When we consulted the public, they came back with all sorts of issues, people in Minster said they were worried about houses being too close to their village so we changed the plans.

"They also expressed concern that if buildings were five or six storeys tall that we'd take the landscape up.

"We have reduced that to three or four storeys and put them in places where people won't see them.

"By the time we've filled this site up 25% of green space will be left."

The bid by American investment company RiverOak bid for a compulsory purchase of Manston and their application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) continues.

But Mr Mallon believes it will never happen.

He said: "TDC don't have an indemnity partner else they'd be shouting from the roof tops.

"As far as a DCO is concerned it's not going to happen. This site is not a site of significant national interest, it never will be where aviation is concerned."

North Thanet MP, Sir Roger Gale (Cons), has dismissed the announcement that at the end of the month a planning application for housing will be submitted in respect of Manston Airport.

He said: “Anyone may lawfully submit a planning application for any piece of land whether they own it or not.

"That does not mean, however, that such an application will be granted.

"A proposal to build housing on Manston Airport is in clear breach of the current local plan which designates Manston as an airport.

"Additionally, any grant of consent would be dependent upon a full environmental impact study and a full archaeological survey and both would almost certainly render the proposed developments inadmissible.

"In the meantime RiverOak are quietly and responsibly pursuing their request, in the interests of national infrastructure, for a DCO and are already committing very considerable sums of money to the most comprehensive environmental impact study ever undertaken in Thanet."

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Locate in Kent would like to thank - Canterbury Christ Church University, Discovery Park, Frogmore, Kent County Council, Liberty Property Trust UK, London Array, Medway Council, Thanet Earth, University of Kent and Visit Kent - for the use of their images on this website.