Wednesday, 6 April 2016

15,600 houses must be built in Thanet before 2031, the Manston effect and a ramble.


Having finished nearly two weeks of looking up a couple of thousand military books on Amazon, working out which ones are never going to sell and making a 99p sale of about 20% of them I have been looking at the local internet to see if there is anything newsworthy and interesting enough to turn into a blog post.

The most contentious local issue at the moment being the future of the Manston Airport site, I have half an eye or ear out for Manston in all of the stuff on FaceBook, Twitter and the like.

My own thoughts on Manston are best clarified before going on with one of these posts and the are roughly summed as:-

I like aeroplanes and am first out of the door with my camera when one flies over, so I guess from a purely selfish point of view I would like to see Manston as a small regional airport with some expansion to the two museums and heritage aircraft activities there.

I am against the plans for an airfreight hub there as proposed by the American real estate hedge fund firm RiverOak. Why? They say in their submissions to the government that they want a minimum of 12,000 cargo movements a year with the provision for night flights. My feelings are that this would be going to far on environmental grounds, air pollution in particular as large amounts of jet engine fumes cause cancer and reduce life expectancy, but also noise pollution and risk to the drinking water.

I also have considerable reservations about the suitability of part of the site for industrial use, because of the drinking water supply considerations.

So when I found this on FaceBook https://www.facebook.com/Westgate1000houses/posts/481430302050564 today, here is the text in case it won't open for you on Facebook:-


“Westgate development concerns
6 hrs ·
After another meeting with Adrian Verrell- Planning manager of TDC, there is not good news.

1) The Objectively Assessed Housing Need is 15,600 not 12,000 as last year. So 15,600 houses need to built in Thanet by 2031 (about 3k have been built already).

2) The allocations at Westgate can go ahead (according to TDC) because they can work around the farmland birds, slow worms, bats, Dent de Lion, any archeology, the problems with the sewage and any issues with roads, healthcare and services.

3) Allocations like ST1 and 2 are highly sought after by developers because they are viable - people like Westgate and want to live here. TDC obviously like viable allocations.
Positives:

1) We have campaigned for the use of empty properties in the housing allocation. This has been allowed and about 500 units will come from properties that were previously empty for 3 plus years.

2) It seems that Millwood homes, who will most likely be building the houses at ST1 and 2, build nice looking houses - they built part of St Augustines.
Negatives:

1) We have campaigned to reduce the number of houses built in Westgate and on grade 1 agricultural land. Our views are not "valid" in the planning law and in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and every concern can be mitigated.
Future:

TDC need to find land for the extra 3,600 houses in the Objectively Assessed Housing Need. This will be either:

Approx 2,500 on Manston plus 1,100 on other greenfield sites

or

3,600 on other mainly greenfield site.

The next Local Plan will be published in September 2016. Lets see if there have been ANY compromises. I doubt very much if there has been!
We do need more houses, but it such a shame that top quality land for food has to be destroyed in the process and small towns have to have such a large number built bolt on, changing the character forever.”  


So the bit that interests me here mainly is:- “TDC need to find land for the extra 3,600 houses in the Objectively Assessed Housing Need. This will be either:

Approx 2,500 on Manston plus 1,100 on other greenfield sites

or

3,600 on other mainly greenfield site.”

This seems to be saying that it’s either 2,500 houses on Manston or on productive farmland.

An aspect of this is the inferences related to local politicians, especially the Thanet MPs who seem to be very much against building housing on the Manston Airport site and any relationship with developers who may wish to get permission to build on Greenfield sites.

I will perhaps ramble on here later.



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