SHP response to change of use application decision

The Planning Inspectorate has reached its decision in relation to an application by Stone Hill Park to allow the change of use of a number of buildings at the former Manston Airport site.

It is important to note the view taken by the Planning Inspectorate does not affect the progress of proposals for a comprehensive mixed-use development at the site of 2,500 homes, a hi-tech business park and other leisure facilities.

Stone Hill Park has submitted a planning application, which is expected to be heard by Thanet District Council later this year. If approval is granted, work will be able to start immediately on creating jobs and opportunities for Thanet.

Ray Mallon, spokesman for Stone Hill Park, said:

“Stone Hill Park has been informed by the Planning Inspectorate that our appeal for the change of use of four buildings on the site has been refused.

“We believed the case put forward at the planning inquiry was compelling and I am somewhat surprised at the decision, as approval would have brought an immediate jobs boost to the area.

“Thanet District Council withdrew its original objections and a decision in our favour would not have compromised the possibility of a Development Consent Order being brought forward by RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP).

“It is therefore a mystery to me as to why the Planning Inspectorate has reached this decision, which in my opinion is flawed and an error of judgement on the part of the Inspector concerned.

“The quicker RSP submit their DCO application the better, so that their plans can be exposed to full public scrutiny and be shown for what they are.

“I am convinced that we will blow any DCO application out of the water, due to the aviation plans by RSP having little basis in fact or foundation and look forward to putting this whole subject to bed once and for all.

“We own the site, we are experienced in physical regeneration and more importantly we have the money in the bank now to deliver our plans.”