Friday 10 June 2016

Stone Hill Park apply for planning

Well Mr Cartner and Mr Musgrave have applied for planning permission and if you are up to it the files can be downloaded from TDC here (downloads) With typical lack of manners the stalwarts in SMA have been objecting in their droves however they need to understand "airport, airport" is not a reason that will be accepted.

In summary what the developers are trying to achieve will benefit more people in Thanet than a cargo hub will ever do.
In Summary the proposal will comprise
"The proposed development comprises 6 key components: (1) residential; (2) employment; (3) sport/recreation facilities; (4) museums/cultural heritage uses; (5) village centre; and (6) open space. The intention is that these components will function as an inter-dependent mutually beneficial mix of uses that complement and support one another and create an integrated mixed use new community. Critically, the aim is to blend this mix of uses with the site’s heritage, high quality design, effective estate management, sound environmental practice, and a focussed delivery strategy to create a high quality and distinctive new place which firmly accords with sustainable development principles"


The housing (use class C3) component of the development will comprise a mix of sizes and types, ranging from 1-5 bedrooms and including apartments and houses. An indicative unit size mix is provided within the Planning Statement, which comprises:
One bed: 10-20%
Two bed: 30-40%
Three bed: 30-40%
Four+ bed: 15-20% 
The application proposes that up to 250 of the residential units can be provided as age-restricted C3 or C2 units (for elderly persons). These could comprise a number of products including retirement housing, extra-care/assisted living, residential care, residential nursing (or a blend of products provided as a retirement ‘village’). 

The housing component of the development will include a mix of tenures. The Initial s.106 Heads of Terms and Viability Appraisal (ref. SHP1-12) proposes that 15% of C3 residential units will be provided as affordable tenures, to comprise 60% Intermediate tenures and 40% Affordable Rent (Intermediate tenures to comprise Shared Ownership and Discount Market Sale/Starter Home). The affordable proportion and product mix will be controlled by a s.106 planning obligation.


The employment uses are intended to focus on an ‘Advanced Manufacturing Park’ and therefore it is intended that the majority of floorspace will be taken up for B1(c) and B2 uses. This will comprise a high quality managed/serviced environment which is intended to
complement the existing employment offer at Manston Business Park. This will involve the reuse of some retained existing buildings and the provision of new development (including 10,244sqm of new floorspace as part of Phase 1, which comprises the detailed element of the application). B1(a) uses are restricted to the ‘Village Centre’. 

 Social Infrastructure

The proposed development includes the provision of up to 11,500sqm of D1/D2 uses plus up to 2 primary schools with a combined capacity of up to 4-forms of entry. It is anticipated that the D1 allowance will include a community centre and GP surgery, provided within the Village Centre, which are intended to satisfy the social infrastructure needs generated by the proposed development (as assessed in the Social Infrastructure Assessment provided in the ES).
The primary schools will be located either within the Village Centre or residential areas (most accessible parts of the site which benefit from complementary adjacent uses, and within walk distance of most/all homes). 


 A strategy for the provision of outdoor sport/recreation and play facilities to meet the needs of future residents is provided in the Design and Access Statement (ref. SHP1-3). This commits to the provision of 6ha of playing fields, 3 Neighbourhood Equipped Areas for Play (NEAPs), 4 Local Equipped Areas for Play (LEAPs) and 27 Local Areas for Play (LAP). We propose that a Sports and Play Scheme is prepared/submitted to the LPA for approval prior to the commencement of development (secured by condition). We note that these outdoor sport/play facilities form part of a network of around 100ha of publicly accessible open space (as controlled by the parameter plans), including the part-retained runway which is anticipated to provide a unique outdoor recreation resource.
The planning application allows for up to 11,500sqm of D1/D2 uses (which includes indoor sport and recreation uses). The intention is that this will allow for the provision of small scale sport/recreation facilities to meet the local needs of residents/workers. In addition to this it allows for the provision of a regionally significant sports facility (the applicant’s aspiration is for this to be an indoor swimming pool)
Further to this, the application allows for the provision of an outdoor ‘recreational surface water body’ and associated built facilities to be provided. The Applicant’s aspiration is that this will comprise a man-made surf lake (a ‘wave garden’) which it is anticipated will function
as a regionally significant visitor attraction. The vision is that the co-location of this with the proposed swimming pool and some of the outdoor sports/recreation facilities will allow for the establishment of a base for multi-sport activities such as triathlons. 

 The above screen grabs are from the very extensive community consultations.

The public can comment on the proposals so as it was open to all I decided I would make a few comments.

With reference to Final_Thanet_Preferred_Option_Draft_Local_Plan pages 21,
“Strategic Priority 1 - Create additional employment and training opportunities, to strengthen and diversify the local economy and improve local earning power and employability.”
And  “Support the sustainable development and regeneration of Manston Airport to enable it to function as a local regional airport, providing for significant new employment opportunities, other supporting development and improved surface access subject to environmental safeguards or as an opportunity site promoting mixed-use development that will deliver high quality employment and a quality environment.”
To emphasise the last part “or as an opportunity site promoting mixed-use development that will deliver high quality employment and a quality environment.” This is further confirmed on page 32 with the following policy.
Policy SP05 – Manston Airport
The site of Manston Airport and the adjoining area will be designated as an “Opportunity Area” for the purposes of preparing the Manston Airport Area Action Plan” Development Plan Document. The Manston Airport AAP will explore through the development plan process the future development options for the site of the airport and the adjoining area. A consideration of the AAP should be the retention, development and expansion of the airport and aviation operations where supported by a feasibility study and a viable Business Plan, while exploring alternative options for the future development of the area for mixed-use development.
I contend that the soft marketing exercise has confirmed that no aviation related business wants the Manston site and furthermore in the 22 months whilst Price Waterhouse Cooper marketed the site no aviation related business wanted it either.
It is past time when TDC planning worked out that aviation is doomed to fail on this site because of its geographical position and it’s time to make a choice between failure and success. Whether to develop the site for housing and industrial use has always been a political decision and it shouldn’t be that way. Planning had already advised that change of use for some of the existing building should be granted yet here we are again.
Page 18 of the proposed local plan states:
“The levels of development proposed within the draft Plan are based upon robust and up to date evidence of the needs of the district. Thanet’s population is expected to grow significantly over the next 20 years, and new homes and jobs are required to support this. The overall strategy aims for an optimistic and aspirational level of economic growth necessary to bring about the step change that is required in the district. It also aims to deliver the right number and mix of housing required alongside such growth, as well as delivering new open space, and protecting and improving the quality of Thanet’s existing built and natural environment.”
Further it says:
“It is recognised that any growth in Thanet must be supported by the necessary infrastructure, such as roads, schools and health facilities. The Plan aims to take a co-ordinated approach to delivering such facilities alongside new development, and the Council has and will continue to work with other agencies, organisations and service providers to ensure that this is achieved.”
“Strategic Priority 3 - Provide homes that are accessible to, and suited to the needs and aspirations of, a settled and balanced community”
·        Plan for sufficient new homes to meet local community need so that, irrespective of income or tenure, people have access to good quality and secure accommodation.
·        Meet the housing needs and demands of a balanced and mixed community and to support economic growth.
·        Safeguard family homes and the character and amenity of residential areas.
·        Increase the supply of affordable homes.
·        Improve the environment and the quality and mix of housing in areas needing revitalisation to restore mixed and confident communities.
The plan submitted will provide 2500 homes maintaining the same strategic mix as identified in the new local plan and will reduce the pressure of Greenfield sites thus preserving the green lung centred on the airport. Further the availability of opening up the land surrounding the runway will also increase access because for 98 years the land has been fenced off to the general public.
Currently the local plan needs 15660 new dwellings completed by 2031 and with the, just under, 4000 already built or granted planning permission Thanet needs 800 completions a year. With the 2500 proposed for Stone Hill Park that reduces the need to 600 completions a year massively reducing the pressure for greenfield site development.
This 2500 includes affordable homes, units for retirees, one, two and 3 bed dwellings and aspirational homes all centred round a village “high street”, incorporating two primary schools, a Medical Centre, and transport links. With additional transport links to Manston Parkway proposed and links to Westwood Cross the Council’s preferred shopping centre this will form a balanced land use for the former airfield.
Recreational use
With the removal of fences round the airfield and the development of 230 acres of parkland incorporating footpaths and cycleways this will transform this area into an accessible green site for many.
Adding to this is the addition of a sports village with facilities such as football pitches, tennis courts, an Olympic sized swimming pool, and should it be developed a wave pool. This will transform Thanet into a “must see” sports centre, not just for the local but for the wider community in HeneBay, Canterbury and Ashford.
With the development of an industrial park on site it is hoped that the need for the 16-29 age group commuting out of Thanet to find work will slow and reverse. This aspirational age group needs work much closer to home. Many find it difficult to find the right job locally and school leavers and college leavers have nothing local to provide that level of salary and vocational need.
With the addition of a high Tech industrial park colleges and sixth forms will be able to find the right apprenticeships to support employment closer to home. The success of the Developers in turning round the fortunes of Discovery Park show that have to business acumen to succeed.
This development could transform East Kent but only if the local council can seize the moment and realise that Manston as an airfield is doomed to failure. Sometimes in life these moments come along and politicians need to put aside their differences so that the people of Thanet can move on in their lives.
It also will go a long way to replenishing TDC’s coffers after the reserves were depleted by actions before the present incumbents took over."