Thursday, 7 April 2016

The location of the 3,600 new houses Manston, a map and the local plan.

After putting up yesterdays post I put links to some of the local FaceBook groups with the hope of trying to understand just what is going on.

While driving around trying to get some books, bits of school uniform and so on today, I did manage to put the following two questions on the Facebook goup’s pages

1 does anyone know if we are now committed to 15,600 houses by 2030?

2 does anyone know if it is certain that 2,500 houses on Manston means 2,500 houses not on usable farmland as shown on the map?

Most coherent answer goes to a bloke called Andrew, here it is:-

“As I understand it, the local plan earmarks certain "areas" for housing development, without specifying the amounts.

Specific amounts of dwellings only comes into play in individual planning applications.

The local plan does not say that designated areas are where housing WILL BE built, nor does allocate numbers, it just shows potential planning applicants where their applications will be looked upon favourably.

It is not lawful to turn down a planning application for no reason so by having a local plan in place, there is some protection for areas that are not allocated for housing as the fact that an application is made for an area NOT allocated for housing IS a reason to turn down an application. If there is no local plan then the council must end up approving many applications that they might otherwise justifiably turn down with a plan in place.

So..... the total number of new houses to be built is not really to do with the local plan, it is more to do with how many applications the council receive from developers. (Just cos its in the plan doesnt mean anyone wants to actually build!) What the local plan also does is set a maximum number.

Once this number has been reached then the council can justifiably turn down any further applications on the basis that the need is not there as the number has been met. This gives us further protection from having houses built in numbers over and above that given in the plan. In summary, and sorry I went the long way around, No we are not yet fully committed to the numbers in the draft plan until it becomes an actual plan, even then it is a maximum, not a target. And No, although building 2500 houses on Manston does not mean not building on useable farmland unless any application to build on said useable farmland would take us above the 15,600 maximum figure at the time the application is made in which case it could be turned down on the grounds that there is no need. (I think!!!!!)

Andrew Jefferson So what happens without a local plan is that Local Authorities have little justifiable reason to turn down planning applications and we end up with "urban sprawl".

This can often result in the same number of houses being built, but in a much more chaotic and unplanned way that no-one has any real control of, lines between towns become blurred and nature usually suffers. Having a local plan in place is very important and any plan really is better than no plan at all! This is really why town planning is practiced these days, to stop the uncontrolled development of towns that we have seen in the past.


I dont like this plan for one reason and one reason only, because I think that KCC have alocated Thanet with an unfairly high number of houses from the KCC quota. I think TDC should be doing more to publicly resist this allocation from KCC and get it down to a reasonable figure. A figure that we could meet without sacrificing top quality farm land. Apart from that it is overall not an awful local plan and much better to have a plan than no plan at all."

Of course this may be all wrong, but I don't think so as it fits with the other stuff that I have heard about the issue.

and Peter has added the following "I'm not sure I agree with your contributor, Michael. He claims that the numbers were imposed on TDC by KCC. They weren't. TDC commissioned G. L. Hearn to do an independent study for them and to exstimate the numbers of homes required. If you read through the report you'll see that their report referred to a 20 years period between 2011 and 2031. The made a lower and upper estimate for the number of homes required depending on levels of migration and came up with somewhere between 749 and 777 homes per year. This is where the numbers have come from: https://www.thanet.gov.uk/media/3228414/Strategic-Housing-Market-Assessment-2016.pdf

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