A new settlement that transforms the former Manston Airport site into a sustainable community for all - delivering much needed homes; real jobs and training opportunities; aviation heritage attractions; a new country park and destination leisure facilities.
That’s the vision set out in enhanced proposals submitted on Thursday, 3 May to Thanet District Council by the owners of Stone Hill Park, the culmination of a three-year process, that has included extensive key stakeholder involvement, public consultation, as well as evaluation and examination through a formal Design Review Panel.
The key points of the proposals, set out in the planning application, include:
• Up to 3,700 high quality homes for all stages of life across a range of tenures and sizes - from executive homes to starter and micro homes, built over a 15-20-year period;
• Thousands of jobs and training opportunities with the potential for smaller workshops and offices right through to high tech manufacturing that links directly to the existing Manston Business Park. Sectors to be targeted include: advanced manufacturing, engineering, research and development, low carbon economy and agritech;
• The modern, flexible 46,000 sq m of advanced/hi-tech employment space will provide up to 2,000 direct jobs with at least 9,000 further jobs created over the course of the project, including construction and jobs in the supply chain for the wider area;
• A heritage airport with an operational runway suitable for classic, vintage and potentially light aviation. The Spitfire and Hurricane Museum and RAF Museum will be relocated here, alongside other facilities including education space, hangars and a cafe;
• A series of major new public parks for Thanet at the heart of the development, including the retention of the non-operational part of the former main runway as an exciting, recreational and community event space. In all 45% (133 hectares) of the total site area would be kept as green or open space;
• The creation of The East Kent Sports Village with facilities of regional significance, including Kent’s first 50m Olympic sized swimming pool and a WaveGarden surf lake;
• The completion of the first part of a strategic link road through the site to allow for future connections to Westwood Cross. Other ‘green’ streets will be aligned to produce direct visual links between retained heritage features such as the fire station and control towers.
• The mixed-use scheme will include a range of supporting facilities including schools, food store, cafes/restaurants, a 120-bed hotel and health centre. Space for a small-scale campus for higher/further education is planned, located in close proximity to the employment hub.
• Direct financial benefits to Thanet District Council in the form of New Homes Bonus (£41.9m) and annual tax receipts (£7m) as well as community and infrastructure benefits through a future S106 agreement.
All the supporting documentation for this planning application will be available to view on the planning portal of the Thanet District Council website, including extensive environmental and transport assessments.