2. Economic Development & Regeneration

2.1.

Introduction

Thanet has historically experienced severe economic problems, associated with a restricted manufacturing base and a declining tourism sector. This position is demonstrated by a range of economic indicators, in particular, an unemployment rate persistently and significantly above the Kent and national average. At the time of the preparation of the Isle of Thanet Local Plan (March 1993), the local unemployment rate stood at 16.4%, compared with the South-East average of 9.4% and a Kent average of 11.1%. In March 2002, Thanet’s unemployment rate was 7.0%, as against a South-East average of 2.6%, a Kent average of 2.6%, and a National average of 3.1%. In April 2006 Thanet’s unemployment rate was 3.9% against a Kent average of 2.3%, a South-East average of 2.5% and a national average of 2.5%.

2.2.

Although the fall in unemployment is welcome, the rate remains significantly higher than the South-East and Kent averages. The difference between the unemployment rate in this district and the South-East is also widening. It is also predicted that Thanet’s economically active population will grow by 3% during this Plan period, increasing the total labour supply by some 1200 people.

2.3.

The Council’s vision for the Plan period is to see the business parks and the airport being developed at a much more substantial rate than previously, with a wide range of companies and economic activity. As a consequence of an upturn in economic activity, average earnings, per capita GDP and unemployment levels in Thanet should reduce significantly towards the Kent averages.

2.4.

The development of Kent International Airport as an important regional hub and business location, and its proximity to the business parks ensures a key role for the airport in the economic regeneration of the area. The development of the business parks will also assist in, and be assisted by, the development and expansion of Ramsgate New Port.

Objectives

  1. TO ALLOCATE AND MAINTAIN SUFFICIENT LAND RESOURCES TO FACILITATE SUSTAINABLE GROWTH AND DIVERSIFICATION IN ECONOMIC ACTIVITY;
  2. TO PROVIDE A STRATEGY FOR THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF EMPLOYMENT GENERATION IN ORDER TO REDRESS THE PERSISTENTLY HIGH LEVELS OF UNEMPLOYMENT, TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE LOCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES THAT THE DISTRICT HAS IN COMMUNICATION LINKS WITH EUROPE, WHILST CONTINUING TO MEET THE CHALLENGE OF THE CHANNEL TUNNEL AND SINGLE EUROPEAN MARKET; AND
  3. TO HELP CREATE THE CONDITIONS NECESSARY TO BRING ABOUT A SIGNIFICANT REDUCTION IN UNEMPLOYMENT LEVELS TOWARDS THE KENT AVERAGE, AND TO RAISE LOCAL GDP SIGNIFICANTLY TOWARDS THE KENT AVERAGE BY THE END OFTHE PLAN PERIOD.
2.5.

In seeking to realise the vision, Thanet has a number of factors in its favour. Thanet's proximity and excellent transport links to mainland Europe are major locational advantages. The area has an excellent physical environment and climate, the facilities of an international airport, an active seaport and attractive and available land for development which are all very positive factors in encouraging inward investment and job creation. The availability of relatively low-cost labour and land together with the initiatives that have already been put in place in respect of environmental improvements to the Thanet towns also add to the above physical attributes.

2.6.

The next few years will be a challenging time for Thanet. However, the Council considers that, with funding programmes in place, improving communications, a proactive approach to developing the business parks and the development of a holistic approach to the regeneration of the area, Thanet is well placed to significantly improve its economic performance and position.

2.7.

Regional Planning Guidance advises that development plans should take a long-term and holistic approach to economic development. It is now also generally recognised that economic development programmes need to be part of a wide-ranging regeneration strategy.

2.8.

Encouraging growth and diversification of the economy and fostering employment generation are central issues in formulating Thanet’s planning policies. While land-use policies alone are unlikely to produce a regeneration of the area’s economy, it is essential, if Thanet is to take advantage of its strengths and opportunities and of the initiatives that have been made available to aid recovery, that sufficient land, in the right locations and with adequate infrastructure, is made available to provide opportunities for a range of market sectors.

2.9.

This strategy needs to address wider issues within the local economy – the quality and provision of education and training facilities and opportunities; Community Economic Development; the range, quality and location of housing; as well as the availability of shopping, leisure and recreational facilities. The Local Plan seeks to address all these issues in a comprehensive way.

2.10.

In terms of training, for example, the Thanet Lifelong Learning Partnership has developed a local strategy for training, which includes the delivery of training services, Basic Skills provision, widening participation in education and training; and workforce development training. Where appropriate, this needs to be reflected in the Local Plan in terms of land and buildings likely to be needed for such provision (see Policy CF3).

2.11.

The Community Economic Development programme includes the development of sustainable social enterprises; support for the training priorities mentioned above; the promotion of social inclusion through the arts, sports and other activities; establishment of an equal opportunities network; and the development of safe transport networks to encourage participation. Once again, the Local Plan needs to address any land-use implications associated with these issues.

2.12.

In order to achieve the Local Plan objectives, so far as is possible through planning policy, the District Council will:

  1. identify sufficient and suitable land, both quantitatively and qualitatively, for the growth of industry/business during the period of the Plan;
  2. support, through its planning regulatory powers, the retention of existing key industrial and serviced land and premises, where appropriate;
  3. act positively and speedily in association with other agencies to remove physical constraints that are impeding the use of land identified for employment-creating development (e.g. by establishing the policy framework for a rolling programme of development infrastructure provision on economic development sites);
  4. continue with efforts to promote Thanet and to take action to enhance the built environment in order to improve the image of the District to visitors and investors; and
  5. support the development of appropriate sites for educational and training purposes in relation to the skills of school leavers and needs of employers and the proposed training and educational programmes.
2.13.

Government & European Funding

Thanet has benefited from various Government and European funding initiatives including:

  • Development Area Status
  • Objective 2 Status
  • Regional Selective Assistance Grants
  • Assisted Area Status
  • Single Regeneration Budget (SRB) funding
2.14.

The Council received £25 million through the ERDF and SRB funding programmes, which has significantly contributed to the consolidation of the regeneration programme in the area. However, the SRB funding closed at the end of March 2006, and whilst there are still dedicated specific areas of additional funding and investment in the District (e.g. the Cliftonville renewal area project), it is unlikely that further significant funding will be available in the near future.

2.15.

Policy Background

Government Guidance

PPG12 states that "...in preparing development plans, local authorities should take account of the need to revitalise and broaden the local economy, the need to stimulate employment opportunities, and the importance of encouraging industrial and commercial development".

2.16.

PPG4 states that “economic growth and a high quality environment have to be pursued together”. This is particularly true in Thanet, where the climate, the coast and other environmental advantages of the area provide the context for new economic development.

2.17.

The Regional Planning Guidance for the South-East identified Thanet as a Priority Area for Economic Regeneration (PAER). The Guidance encouraged local authorities to promote economic diversity in their areas, and to make provision for high value-added business activity and the development of business clusters through various mechanisms. Each PAER has its own distinctive set of problems and will need individually tailored strategies.

2.18.

In respect of the RPG guidance on business clusters, the Council considers that the land north of Sandwich, at Pfizers, at Kent International Airport and in the business parks at Manston and central Thanet can be identified as a developing cluster of manufacturing and research, and hightechnology enterprise.

2.19.

The SEEDA Strategy 

In 1999 the South-East England Development Agency (SEEDA) published the Regional Economic Strategy (RES). This Strategy stated that the southeast had the potential to be a world-class region and certainly one of the top 10 regions in Europe. This ambition has been carried through as part of the review of the RES, which was published in 2002.

2.20.

The Strategy believes that growth should be driven by productivity gains, not by resource intensive and low-added activity, applying as much to manufacturing and the rural economy as it does to IT and financial services. The initiatives in the RES incorporates global best practice to increase start-up survival and growth rate of young companies and include the completion of a network of ‘Enterprise Gateways’ and ‘Enterprise Hubs’.

2.21.

Enterprise Gateways are new to the RES and provide business incubation networks for entrepreneurs and young companies, focusing on rural areas and areas of the Region where skills are low. Enterprise Hubs provide focal points for the development of small businesses; networking; supply chain development and the co-ordinated delivery of business support services, innovation centres, technology transfer, skills development, training and lifelong learning.

2.22.

The Council believes that it is vital for Thanet to share in the benefits that the Regional Economic Strategy identifies. With the advent of the Thanet Campus of Canterbury Christ Church University College and the Innovation Centre and managed incubator workspace at Thanet Reach, there is the foundation for the development of an Enterprise Gateway linking with other new business development in Thanet.

2.23.

The Kent and Medway Structure Plan

The Kent and Medway Structure Plan also adopts a positive attitude to new investment and economic development in the light of Thanet's persistent economic problems and the future prospects for the area, and this is reflected in Structure Plan Policy TH1.

2.24.

Employment Land Supply

Government guidance, in Planning Policy Guidance Note 4, states that local planning authorities should allocate sufficient land to meet the economic development needs of their areas.

2.25.

Encouraging growth and diversification of the economy and fostering employment generation is a central issue in formulating Thanet's planning policies. While land use policies alone are unlikely to produce a regeneration of the area's economy, it is essential, if Thanet is to take advantage of its strengths and opportunities and of the initiatives that have been made available to aid recovery, that sufficient land, in the right locations and with adequate infrastructure, is made available to provide opportunities for a range of market sectors.

2.26.

Policy EP2 of the Kent and Medway Structure Plan sets guidelines as to the level of floorspace provision to be made for economic development purposes in each district. For the period 2001-2021 these guidelines indicate that 304,000 sqm should be provided for a full range of industrial and warehousing uses (Use Classes B2-B8), business development and financial and professional services (Use Classes A2/B1).

2.27.

The previous Local Plan allocated about 135 hectares (333.5 acres) for economic development at various business sites around the District, approximately 19.24 ha (14%) of which have been developed (2001). The joint Employment Land Study 2001 indicates that the outstanding Local Plan allocations help to provide a surplus of 52% over the existing Structure Plan guidelines for the Local Plan period to 2011. This position will need to be reviewed once the Structure Plan guidelines for the period to 2021 have become more definite, and this may require a partial review of the Local Plan.

2.28.

The land allocated for new development or identified for retention in the Plan is intended to meet the needs of businesses either starting up or developing locally, or seeking to locate in the area, and to reflect the Council’s Economic Development Strategy. Given the amount, location and type of land already allocated and the take-up rates experienced over the last few years, the Council considers that no further economic development land needs to be provided during the Plan period. This position is recognised in the Regional Planning Guidance for the South-East. However it is important to ensure that the business parks are well designed and landscaped, and have all the necessary environmental controls so that even when they have been completed they remain an attractive location for reinvestment.

2.29.

This Plan therefore continues the allocation of the balance of the Business Park sites that have not yet been developed, as follows:

Employment AllocationOutstanding Local Plan commitment at June 2001
Manston Park, Manston
121,789 sqm
EuroKent Business Park, Ramsgate
101,519 sqm
Thanet Reach Business Park, Broadstairs
30,022 sqm
Hedgend Industrial Estate, Thanet Way
4,000 sqm
Manston Road, Ramsgate
6,000 sqm
Total
263,330 sqm
2.30.

These allocations comprise the majority of the current land supply, the balance being made up by the development of smaller sites, such as land at existing industrial estates and on individual development sites.

2.31.

Manston Park, EuroKent Business Park and Thanet Reach also form part of the Central Island Initiative, which is addressed in more detail below.

2.32.

The Central Island Initiative 

The aim of the Central Island Initiative (CII) is to help diversify and enhance the economy of Thanet. The Initiative is identified as one of the four main elements of the Council’s ‘self-containment approach’ for the regeneration of Thanet. The CII focuses on the unique economic strands between the airport and the three business parks. These business parks are considered below. In August 1998, the Council adopted Supplementary Planning Guidance in relation to the CII. This guidance has now been incorporated into this Local Plan and forms the basis of Policies EC2 to EC6. It is anticipated that the various elements of the CII will generate considerable travel demand. This issue is considered in more detail in the Transport Chapter of this Plan.

2.33.

Manston Park, EuroKent and Thanet Reach Business Parks

The three business parks have been identified as key components of the CII as they provide realistic economic development opportunities linked to the expanding Kent International Airport. As can be seen from the chart above, Manston Park, EuroKent and Thanet Reach Business Parks are the three largest employment sites in Thanet.

2.34.

Manston Business Park

Manston Business Park was allocated for development in the Isle of Thanet Local Plan, and this is carried forward in this Plan. Manston Park is strategically located at the centre of Thanet, with easy accessibility from the centres of population, the airport, the port at Ramsgate and generally improved road links to the rest of Kent and the UK via the A299 and M2. This site is the primary inward investment site for the district.

2.35.

Manston Park has a unique relationship with the airport, is less than 5 miles from Ramsgate New Port, and within easy reach of the main population centres of Thanet. The development of employment opportunities at the site will also provide a new focus for retaining skills within Thanet and could well intercept longer distance commuters who presently have to travel to Canterbury, Dover or further afield to find suitable employment.

2.36.

EuroKent Business Park

The EuroKent Business Park was allocated for development in the Isle of Thanet Local Plan (1998). It comprises approximately 40ha, and is situated roughly equidistant between the three main Thanet towns. The site is located directly adjacent to Newington, a large housing estate suffering high unemployment. While it is intended that this site should be developed at a higher density than Manston Park, an attractive, landscaped site is nevertheless envisaged.

2.37.

In allocating this site for employment uses, it is acknowledged that there are significant highway constraints, which will need to be overcome before it can be fully developed. As the EuroKent Business Park development proceeds, the main spine road will eventually form the major through route, thus relieving Haine Road.

2.38.

The Council will require, through the mechanism of the building agreement with the developer, that the whole new road should be implemented at an appropriate point in the development of the site as determined by the requirements of the Highway Authority.

2.39.

Thanet Reach Business Park, Broadstairs

Thanet Reach was identified in the Isle of Thanet Local Plan for a mix of business uses. It has since been partly developed for the Thanet Campus of Canterbury Christ Church University College, the Innovation Centre and for a variety of business and telecommunications uses. However, a substantial part of the site remains undeveloped, of which 6 hectares must be for business uses, and this allocation is carried forward into this Plan.

2.40.

Hedgend & Manston Road

The business parks at Hedgend and Manston Road are more modestly sized than the three identified in the CII but they are still considered important for the regeneration of Thanet as they provide additional choices for economic development. Due to the amount of land available at the sites, the Council believes that these sites should be allocated solely for B1, B2 and B8 uses. Policy EC1 will therefore apply. 

2.41.

Hedgend Industrial Estate, St Nicholas

In order to facilitate development of employment opportunities in the rural area, the Isle of Thanet Local Plan identified an extension of 1.8 hectares to the existing small Hedgend Industrial Estate, to the west of the site. The site is wellrelated to the Thanet Way, and provides an opportunity for the development and growth of small firms in the rural areas of Thanet.

2.42.

It is extremely important that the development of the site is carried out with careful consideration as to the integration of development into the landscape. To that end the Council will expect substantial landscaped boundaries to be provided as part of any development proposal, particularly on the frontage of the improved Thanet Way to accord with Policy CC4 in the Countryside & Coast Chapter.

2.43.

Manston Road, Ramsgate

Following the development of the new Tesco superstore at Manston Road, this former car storage site now comprises some 1.72ha (4.25acres) of vacant land. This site is fully serviced and has good access to the principal road network.

2.44.

The site is located on the very edge of the built-up area of Ramsgate and abuts the open countryside. Any development proposed for this former storage site would therefore need to be designed in sympathy with the sensitivity of the location. It is possible that significant archaeological remains exist on this site and accordingly a field evaluation may be required in order to enable particular proposals to be considered.

POLICY EC1 - LAND ALLOCATED FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

AT THE FOLLOWING SITES, AS SHOWN ON THE PROPOSALS MAP, LAND IS ALLOCATED FOR BUSINESS PURPOSES:

  1. MANSTON PARK, MANSTON
  2. EUROKENT BUSINESS PARK, RAMSGATE
  3. THANET REACH BUSINESS PARK, BROADSTAIRS
  4. HEDGEND INDUSTRIAL ESTATE, ST NICHOLAS
  5. MANSTON ROAD, RAMSGATE

USE WILL BE RESTRICTED TO CLASSES B1 (BUSINESS), B2 (GENERAL INDUSTRY) AND B8 (STORAGE AND DISTRIBUTION). ON ALL SITES A LANDSCAPING SCHEME APPROPRIATE TO THE SCALE, LOCATION AND CHARACTER OF THE SITE WILL BE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE AN ATTRACTIVE ENVIRONMENT.

ON THESE SITES PLANNING APPLICATIONS SHOULD BE ACCOMPANIED BY TRAFFIC IMPACT STUDIES AND GREEN TRAVEL PLANS, UNLESS THE DEVELOPMENT IS CONSIDERED TOO SMALL TO HAVE A SIGNIFICANT TRAVEL IMPACT.

2.45.

Kent International Airport, Manston

The Airfield at Manston has been in existence since 1918. From about 1962 a part of the airfield has been given over to specific use for civilian purposes (the remainder being retained in military use). The area known as the ‘civil enclave’ permitted a wide range of civilian operations ranging from heavy transport freight, including humanitarian relief flights, general aviation and flying school activities. In addition, a number of civilian passenger carriers operated from the airport, including such names as Silvercity, Invicta Airways, Cosmos and Yugotours. Passenger-carrying charter aircraft operated to many destinations across Europe, such that in the late 1960s and early 1970s, up to 200,000 passengers per year used the airport.

2.46.

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Ministry of Defence began the slow reduction in their operations, culminating in the entire airport being sold in 1998 to the Wiggins Group, who sought and obtained a Civil Aviation Authority Licence to operate Manston as an entirely civilian airport. In the interim period a substantial investment has been made in improving the infrastructure of the airport (new runway surfaces, instrument landing systems, new air traffic control tower, etc) and the airport is now capable of accommodating continued growth to meet market opportunities.

2.47.

During 2004/05 Plane Station (formerly known as the Wiggins Group) operated international flights to a number of destinations using the low-cost airline EU Jet. In July 2005 the airport was taken over by Infratil. It is likely that flight activity will largely be freight in the near future. 

2.48.

Air-traffic forecasts for the UK and indeed for the whole of Western Europe indicate a very substantial growth in demand for passenger travel in the period to 2030. Given the considerable uncertainty with such projections, the ODPM has provided a high/low range which would see the 1998 figure of 160 million passengers per annum increase to between 350-460 million passengers per annum – a growth of approximately 250%, the equivalent to 4.3% growth per annum. Faced with such forecasts, the ODPM commissioned a national review of air traffic policy.

2.49.

Much will depend on the level of constraint which the Government wishes to apply to the major London airports and, therefore, on the market perception of regional airports such as Kent International Airport. The higher the level of constraint at the key London airports, the higher the potential that exists for regional airports, including Kent International Airport.

2.50.

Equally, the higher the level of investment by the owners of the airport in providing improved handling facilities, better passenger facilities, new or improved passenger terminals, etc, the more likely the airport is to attract substantial growth by attracting aircraft operators.

2.51.

Kent International Airport possesses one of the longest runways in the country (effectively the sixth longest runway at present), together with the substantial areas of land available for employment purposes adjacent to the runway (in excess of 100 hectares of land with planning permission for a range of business uses). In the Council’s view, this means that the airport should play an important part in the economic regeneration not just of Thanet, but of the whole of East Kent. The Council, therefore, supports fully the development of Kent International Airport and seeks to exploit the opportunities afforded by the development of the airport to encourage further development in the adjoining business parks, thus creating a major catalyst for the regeneration of the Thanet economy.

2.52.

The Council is, however, conscious of the genuinely-held environmental concerns of those living under the flight paths and, therefore, whilst the Council wishes to be supportive of the development of the airport for the job creation potential, it is at the same time mindful of the environmental consequences that arise from having a successful airport within the community.

2.53.

The Council will be working closely with the airport owners and expects operators to adopt best practice to ensure that the operational requirements of the airport are balanced against the genuinely-held environmental concerns of those most affected.

2.54.

Legal agreements had been formed with previous airport operators. It is anticipated, that following early discussions with the new owners, similar agreements will be implemented.

2.55.

In accordance with the legal agreement, the previous owners produced a green transport strategy and this will need to be updated to set strategies and targets for development to ensure that a sustainable approach is taken to maximise access to the airport by means other than the private car.

2.56.

It is the Council’s view that there should be a series of s106 Agreements between the owner and the Council, which will adjust the terms of the agreement with the changes in circumstances that occur with the development of the airport.

2.57.

When planning consent for development at the airport is sought by the owner, the Council will judge the proposals against the airport operator’s success in meeting the requirements of the relevant Section 106 Agreement and against the following criteria:

  1. The level and quality of job creation resulting from the proposed development;
  2. The implications of the development in respect of its likely impact on the road network and in particular in respect of how the development complies with the Green Transport Strategy agreed between the Council and the owners; and
  3. The potential impact of the development on the surrounding environment in terms of noise, air quality, ground-water protection etc.
2.58.

The continued development of the airport will need to be considered in the light of the quality of the surface access to the airport and the impact of further development on existing means of transport. In particular the Council will wish to establish that a significant proportion of traffic to and from the airport is carried by public transport. In submitting development proposals, the owners will need to demonstrate that they have taken the necessary opportunities to incorporate adequate proposals for public transport, in accordance with the Green Transport Strategy.

2.59.

Within this period of uncertainty regarding the level of market share, and given the absence of Government policy, the Council has to devise its policies not just for the airport, but also for the land-use implications of other consequential development. The Local Plan policy framework should neither hold back the growth of the airport, nor inhibit inward investment. Neither should it result in allocating land unnecessarily to the extent that planned development is not achieved, or investment in infrastructure to support development being made prematurely.

2.60.

The Council, therefore, wishes to set out its view of how Manston will develop in the Plan period, to provide some certainty in terms of support to other development without at the same time being unrealistic about the opportunities that undoubtedly exist.

2.61.

In the Council’s view, there is undoubtedly a market opportunity given the forecast in growth in air travel. Even if the lower levels of forecasted growth are achieved, and past performance has certainly indicated that higher levels are achievable, there is undoubtedly a market for Kent International Airport to strive to capture. The success of Kent International Airport in capturing market share will depend upon a wide range of factors such as Government Policy, fuel prices, future airfares and a continuing growth in airfreight, etc. In addition, factors such as the level of investment in passenger and freight handling facilities, the perception of Kent International Airport as a desirable location for aircraft operators, the establishment of point to point air routes and links to international hub airports will also have a major impact on development opportunities.

2.62.

The Council, in its Vision Statement (2020 Vision) published in January 2000, suggested that by 2020 the airport could be handling approximately 10 million passengers per annum. Given the right investment conditions and market opportunities, the Council considers that levels of passenger movement of that order are achievable. However, this Local Plan only sets policy until 2011. Kent County Council, as the Strategic Planning Authority for Kent, will need to make its own assessment of the implications of growth in that longer period, as the Revised Structure Plan will have a time horizon of 2021. The longer term consequences of the appropriate level of airport development and its implications for the economy of Kent as a whole, and East Kent in particular, together with the transportation, housing and environmental consequences of such levels of development, will need to be addressed by the Strategic Planning Authority in the foreseeable future.

2.63.

The District Council has a more immediate task of identifying the likely level of development within the Plan period (2011) and of identifying the appropriate level of land-use resources to meet the consequences of development in that period.

2.64.

The Council has every confidence that the airport will be successful in attracting substantial numbers of passengers and substantial tonnage of airfreight. The real issue relates to the timescale for the achievement of the substantial numbers that are put forward by various parties. Estimates for passenger throughput at Kent International Airport vary between 500,000 passengers and 5 million passengers per annum by 2011. Estimates of the throughput of airfreight are less variable and depend more on the investment made by the owners in freight handling facilities, but they too vary from 65,000 tons per annum, to in excess of 300,000 tons per annum.

2.65.

Given these variations, the Council has decided to adopt a cautious approach to planning for the consequences of airport development during the Plan period. Given the level of investment required to handle substantial numbers of passengers and freight, and the past history and length of time ithas taken other UK airports to develop their throughput, the Council takes the position that it should plan for 1 million passengers, and 250,000 tonnes of freight per annum by the end of the Plan period. However, given the fluidity of the market and the enormous potential that exists at Kent International Airport, the Council proposes to formally review the situation during the years 2005-2006 with a view to taking a revised position in respect of the development of the airport and, therefore, if necessary also to adjust the consequential decisions in respect of other land uses in a review of the Local Plan at the appropriate time.

2.66.

The planned-for development levels referred to above are in no way intended to place a ceiling on the development of the airport. The following Policies are not limited to a particular level of traffic. Thus, should national policy or market forces result in a more rapid development of the airport than currently envisaged, these Policies will remain applicable. However, the development associated with higher levels of growth may require the submission of further Environmental Statements and their analysis.

POLICY EC2 - KENT INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

PROPOSALS THAT WOULD SUPPORT THE DEVELOPMENT, EXPANSION AND DIVERSIFICATION OF KENT INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT WILL ONLY BE PERMITTED SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS:

  1. DEMONSTRABLE COMPLIANCE WITH THE TERMS OF THE CURRENT AGREEMENT UNDER SECTION 106 OF THE TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING ACT 1990 OR SUBSEQUENT EQUIVALENT LEGISLATION;
  2. NEW BUILT DEVELOPMENT IS TO BE DESIGNED TO MINIMISE VISUAL IMPACT ON THE OPEN LANDSCAPE OF THE CENTRAL ISLAND. PARTICULAR ATTENTION MUST BE GIVEN TO ROOFSCAPE AND TO MINIMISING THE MASS OF THE BUILDINGS AT THE SKYLINE WHEN VIEWED FROM THE SOUTH;
  3. APPROPRIATE LANDSCAPING SCHEMES, TO BE DESIGNED AND IMPLEMENTED AS AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE DEVELOPMENT*:
  4. ANY APPLICATION FOR DEVELOPMENT FOR THE PURPOSE OF INCREASING AIRCRAFT MOVEMENTS IN THE AIR OR ON THE GROUND, AUXILIARY POWER OR ENGINE TESTING, MUST BE SUPPORTED BY AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CUMULATIVE NOISE IMPACT AND THE EFFECTIVENESS OF MITIGATION MEASURES TO BE IMPLEMENTED IN ORDER TO MINIMISE POLLUTION AND DISTURBANCE. THE ACCEPTABILITY OF PROPOSALS WILL BE JUDGED IN RELATION TO ANY IDENTIFIED AND CUMULATIVE NOISE IMPACT, THE EFFECTIVENESS OF MITIGATION AND THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF THE PROPOSALS;
  5. AN AIR QUALITY ASSESSMENT IN COMPLIANCE WITH POLICY EP5, TO DEMONSTRATE THAT THE DEVELOPMENT WILL NOT LEAD TO A HARMFUL DETERIORATION IN AIR QUALITY. PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GIVEN FOR DEVELOPMENT THAT WOULD RESULT IN NATIONAL AIR QUALITY OBJECTIVES BEING EXCEEDED;
  6. DEVELOPMENT WILL NOT BE PERMITTED WITHIN THE AIRPORT COMPLEX TO THE SOUTH OF THE AIRSIDE DEVELOPMENT SITE IDENTIFIED IN POLICY EC4, UNLESS IT HAS BEEN DEMONSTRATED THAT THE DEVELOPMENT IS NECESSARY FOR THE PURPOSE OF AIR TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT;
  7. ANY NEW DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD GENERATE SIGNIFICANT SURFACE TRAFFIC MUST MEET REQUIREMENTS FOR SURFACE TRAVEL DEMAND IN COMPLIANCE WITH POLICY EC3.
  8. IT MUST BE DEMONSTRATED THAT NEW DEVELOPMENT CANNOT CONTAMINATE GROUNDWATER SOURCES OR THAT APPROPRIATE MITIGATION MEASURES WILL BE INCORPORATED IN THE DEVELOPMENT TO PREVENT CONTAMINATION.

* Given the prime role of Kent International Airport in the strategy of this Plan, the District Council will carefully consider the potential adverse impacts of landscaping and nature conservation enhancements in the vicinity of the airport, given, for example, the potential to increase the risk of bird strike.

2.67.

Kent International Airport - Surface Transport Issues

The development of Kent International Airport is likely to have significant implications in terms of surface transport both within the district and in the wider area of East Kent.

2.68.

The Council sees potential for a rail connection to the Ramsgate-Ashford line. The Council, together with Kent County Council and other East Kent Councils, is pressing the government and the Strategic Rail Authority to deliver the benefits of a faster, better quality rail service to London, through Ashford and linked to the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. Significantly reduced journey times would address the perceived isolation of Thanet and East Kent and generate further confidence for economic investment in the District. The Council strongly supports the objective of a dedicated rail link to the airport with a station near the terminal and a possible freight interchange serving Kent International Airport and the Central Island Area. In the short term, the Council aims to promote sustainable passenger and freight movements by means of the Green Transport Strategy agreed with the developers.

2.69.

This strategy was published in June 2002 and aims to minimise the potential ground transport impact and to provide a clear policy framework within which Kent International Airport can develop its transport infrastructure and services. It identifies a set of measures to help ensure the use of sustainable methods of transport, such as public transport or cycling, and to minimise any adverse traffic impacts on local communities as Kent International Airport develops.

2.70.

An objective of the Strategy is that at least 10% of passenger and employee journeys should, by 2005, be by means other than the private car, with substantial increases in that percentage beyond that period. However, the setting of any deliverable targets beyond that date will only be possible in light of experience. The Strategy considers how development proposals would encourage means of travel other than the private car, including rail/bus connections between local railway stations and the airport, and development of dedicated airport coaches with direct access to the airport terminal for passengers travelling from greater distances. Green Travel Plans and Traffic Impact Studies, identifying reasonable mitigation measures will accompany, when appropriate, Kent International Airport planning proposals. The Green Travel Plans shall be prepared in consultation with this Council.

2.71.

The Council estimates that by the end of the Plan period, the airport and adjacent land and business parks could generate approximately 3660 jobs. The majority of employees are likely to need to travel to work from the Thanet towns. Existing road links between urban Thanet and Kent International Airport are little more than country lanes, pass through or near villages and hamlets, and would be unable to accommodate significant commuter traffic flows without substantial investment. The Strategy states that the developer will co-operate with the local authorities and public transport providers in discouraging carborne commuter traffic in favour of alternative means of transport.

2.72.

This Strategy also complements the East Kent Access Study (see Transport Chapter) and addresses traffic management measures as described in the Thanet District Transport Plan. These traffic management measures would include protecting the environment and lifestyle of adjoining villages and hamlets, and provision of facilities to encourage use of public transport, walking and cycling and discourage private car use.

2.73.

The development of Kent International will at some time necessitate improvements to the B2190 and B2050, which provide access between Kent International and the strategic route network. The closure of the B2050 may be a desirable operational objective in the long term. Whilst from a planning point of view this may be desirable, any such closure would have to be subject to consultation and legislative requirements outside the Local Plan process and would be tied to other airport development proposals. Phased improvements to these roads will be required in association with growth in traffic. Similarly, other improvements to accommodate or ameliorate the impact of carborne commuter traffic flows may be required. This may involve local improvement to existing roads or provision of a new road linking central urban Thanet with Kent International Airport. The Green Travel Strategy identifies objectives relating the road network, ranging from the closure of the B2050 as a public through route to working with the Highway Authority to identify and sign airport road access routes. An important aspect for the EKA transport study will be to address the issue of traffic flows which would trigger the need to effect such improvements.

(POLICY NOT SAVED) EC3 - INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, SURFACE TRANSPORT ISSUES

PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT AT KENT INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT WILL BE ASSESSED IN TERMS OF THE SURFACE TRAVEL DEMAND THEY WILL GENERATE. PROPOSALS WILL BE REQUIRED TO:

  1. DEMONSTRATE, THROUGH INDIVIDUAL GREEN TRAVEL PLANS, THAT MEASURES WILL BE TAKEN TO REDUCE CAR-BASED TRAVEL IN FAVOUR OF SUSTAINABLE ALTERNATIVES, AND EFFECTIVELY IMPLEMENT THE GREEN TRANSPORT STRATEGY FOR THE AIRPORT, INCLUDING THROUGH THE PROVISION OF PUBLIC TRANSPORT CONNECTIONS BETWEEN OTHER TRANSPORT NODES AND THE AIRPORT; AND
  2. PROVIDE FOR SUCH HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENTS/MANAGEMENT WHICH ARE IDENTIFIED THROUGH THE PREPARATION OF TRAFFIC IMPACT STUDIES AS BEING REQUIRED TO ACCOMMODATE PARTICULAR THRESHOLDS OF DEVELOPMENT AT KENT INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT.
2.74.

Airside Development Area

In order to provide for the operational development of the airport, land north of the runway, and including the land north of the B2050, is reserved for airside development purposes. In this context, airside development is defined as uses with an operational requirement for direct access to aircraft and therefore dependent on a location immediately adjacent to the runway or capable of direct access to it via taxiways. This includes uses based on:

  1. Operation of passenger handling services
  2. Air cargo operations related to the site
  3. Operation of aircraft maintenance and manufacturing
  4. Services ancillary to the maintenance and operation of the airport
2.75.

Consequently, the Local Planning Authority will oppose any development or use of land in the defined area which does not specifically require an airside location.

POLICY EC4 - AIRSIDE DEVELOPMENT AREA

LAND AT THE AIRPORT, AS IDENTIFIED ON THE PROPOSALS MAP, IS RESERVED FOR AIRSIDE DEVELOPMENT. DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS WILL REQUIRE SPECIFIC JUSTIFICATION TO DEMONSTRATE THAT AN AIRSIDE LOCATION IS ESSENTIAL TO THE DEVELOPMENT PROPOSED. DEVELOPMENT WILL BE REQUIRED TO RETAIN SUFFICIENT LAND TO PERMIT ACCESS BY AIRCRAFT OF UP TO 65M (217FT) WINGSPAN TO ALL PARTS OF THE SITE.

2.76.

Land at, and east of, Kent International Airport Terminal

Some airport terminal-related activities need to be located adjacent to the existing terminal building. This could include, for example, car parking or the physical expansion of the terminal. In order to cater for such uses, a site is identified on the Proposals Map including the existing airport terminal facilities and land immediately to the east of the terminal.

2.77.

This land is identified for airport terminal-related uses and retains a reasonable gap between the expanding airport terminal area and the nearby Manston Village, which is protected by Policy CC6.

2.78.

In the event that the airport develops at a quicker rate than that envisaged in this Plan, the future location of airport terminal facilities will need to be considered in the context of the airport Master Plan and the other relevant policies in this Plan.

POLICY EC5 - LAND AT, AND EAST OF, THE AIRPORT TERMINAL

UNTIL SUCH TIME AS A NEW AIRPORT TERMINAL IS BUILT, LAND AT, AND EAST OF, THE EXISTING AIRPORT TERMINAL IS IDENTIFIED ON THE PROPOSALS MAP FOR AIRPORT TERMINAL-RELATED PURPOSES. USES WILL BE RESTRICTED TO THOSE WHICH DIRECTLY SUPPORT OR COMPLEMENT THE OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE EXISTING AIRPORT TERMINAL. SHOULD A NEW TERMINAL BE BUILT, OTHER AIRPORT-RELATED DEVELOPMENT WILL BE PERMITTED ON THIS ALLOCATED SITE. PLANNING CONDITIONS OR PLANNING AGREEMENTS WILL BE APPLIED TO LIMIT ANY DEVELOPMENT GRANTED PLANNING CONSENT TO USES CONFORMING TO THIS POLICY.

2.79.

The MoD Fire Training School

The future of Fire Training School facilities around the country is currently under joint review by the Home Office and the MoD. It is conceivable that one option will be to close the Fire Training School at Kent International Airport, and concentrate such facilities at another centre elsewhere.

2.80.

In the event that the MoD’s use of the site ceases, the Local Planning Authority would welcome its continued use for fire training in a different, perhaps commercial, form. Alternatively, the use of the site for a business hotel or another educational or similar institutional use related to the airport would be acceptable, as would other non-airside uses.

POLICY EC6 - FIRE TRAINING SCHOOL/MOD COMPLEX

IF THE CURRENT USE OF THE FIRE TRAINING SCHOOL OR ADJOINING LAND CEASES, THE LOCAL PLANNING AUTHORITY WILL SUPPORT THE DEVELOPMENT OF AIRPORT OR AIRPORT-RELATED USES, WHICH WOULD ASSIST IN THE EXPANSION OF THE AIRPORT. THESE COULD INCLUDE:

  1. EDUCATIONAL/TRAINING USES (SUCH AS FIRE TRAINING);
  2. HOTELS;
  3. CAR PARKING; OR
  4. USES FALLING WITHIN USE CLASSES A2 AND B1, WITH AN AIRPORT ORIENTATION.
2.81.

Airport Safeguarding

The Council is acutely aware of the need to prevent development that might prejudice the future operation and expansion of the airport, or be adversely affected by Airport operations. The Local Plan contains policies relating to the expansion of the airport (Policies EC2-EC6 above), aircraft noise (Policies EP7 and EP8) and air quality monitoring (Policy EP5), which should help to ensure that this does not happen.

2.82.

Furthermore, the Civil Aviation Authority has identified development safeguarding zones around the airport. Within these zones, the local planning authority is required to consult the airport operators regarding different forms of development that might affect Airport operations.

2.83.

The LPA will take account of concerns expressed by the airport operators in relation to such development, in addition to its own assessment about development which might prejudice the development of the airport.

2.84.

Sandwich Corridor

The Sandwich Corridor area, including Pfizer, is mainly located just beyond the administrative boundary of Thanet in Dover District. This area has historically provided employment opportunities for Thanet residents, and this will continue to be the case. This area is the subject of a major study.

2.85.

Thanet Council is working with Dover District Council, Kent County Council, Pfizer, Canterbury City Council and others to undertake development and landscaping initiatives for the area as part of work being undertaken by the Area Strategic Partnership. This has three linked strands:

  1. To secure job creation on existing and expanded employment sites, using principally brownfield and underused or vacant land;
  2. To improve environmental quality as a whole through co-ordinated landscaping, design and re-development; and
  3. To improve the communications infrastructure, in particular the A256. 
2.86.

Area Investment Framework

An Action Plan for the Area Investment Framework (AIF) has been produced for the East Kent Triangle, the area contained by the Districts of Thanet, Dover and Canterbury. The AIF is intended as a tool for integrated resource planning, mapping out existing and identifying gaps in investment to bring about the area’s regeneration and meet its development needs.

2.87.

The Action Plan aims to influence investment and funding decisions of Government, South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) and other funding agencies in support of the specific actions identified. Proposals elsewhere in this Plan cover the land use issues associated with the Action Plan.

2.88.

Economic Development - Infrastructure Provision

As mentioned above, there is sufficient economic development land identified to meet the Structure Plan guidelines during the Plan period. The priority now is to make sure that the existing business parks and development land are fully serviced and available for companies to move onto.

2.89.

Some of the land is already serviced (20ha/50ac at Manston Park; 8ha/20ac at EuroKent in 2000). However, the Council, in partnership with Kent County Council, Dover District Council and SEEDA, has recently developed an infrastructure strategy to provide services to the rest of the business park sites and in the Sandwich Corridor. This programme will provide infrastructure and utility connections to likely development sites within the Objective 2 areas of Thanet and the Sandwich Corridor.

2.90.

Implementation will be undertaken by the Spatial Development Company, a specially created public sector delivery company set up to deliver infrastructure to these sites. It will benefit from partial European Union funding and funding from the Single Regeneration Budget. This will attract appropriate levels of additional funding from other public/private sources to deliver the critical development infrastructure during the Plan period on a rolling programme of improvements, to release land on the business parks and bring forward economic development and job creation.

2.91.

As the sites made available for development through this process are taken up, payment for connections to the appropriate utilities will be required, equivalent to the full market cost of the infrastructure provided. This approach stems from European Union policy, which requires that state aid should not distort or threaten to distort competition within the European Community.

2.92.

This payment will then be reinvested in further infrastructure improvements within the target area on a rolling programme of investment to achieve the world-class business environment envisaged in the South East Regional Economic Strategy. This mechanism will require the use of legal agreements in the granting of planning permission to secure payments for infrastructure provision.

POLICY EC7 - ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INFRASTRUCTURE

TO ENSURE THAT DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES ARE CONTINUED, WHERE INFRASTRUCTURE AND UTILITIES HAVE BEEN PROVIDED TO APPROPRIATE SITES BY THE SPATIAL DEVELOPMENT COMPANY, PLANNING PERMISSION FOR NEW DEVELOPMENT LIKELY TO DIRECTLY BENEFIT FROM THE PROVISION OF INFRASTRUCTURE WILL BE PERMITTED SUBJECT TO A LEGAL AGREEMENT (IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 106 OF THE TOWN & COUNTRY PLANNING ACT; SECTION 111 OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT; OR ANY OTHER APPROPRIATE PROVISION) SUCH THAT AN APPROPRIATE LEVEL OF PAYMENT IS MADE TO COVER THE COST OF THE PROVISION OF OR IMPROVEMENT TO SERVICE TO THE SITE.

2.93.

Ramsgate Waterfront

The Seafront, Port and Royal Harbour areas are recognised as having great potential to contribute to the economic and tourism regeneration of Ramsgate. Thanet District Council in conjunction with the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Kent County Council and English Partnerships have appointed a team of consultants, led by CB Hillier Parker. Together with co-consultants EDAW Ltd, Campbell Reith Hill and MDS Transmodal, CB Hillier Parker have prepared a comprehensive development framework and implementation strategy for this area.

2.94.

The development framework proposes the development of a world-class marina complex based on the Royal Harbour. The Comprehensive Development Framework retains the commercial port activities (policy EC9) while providing for new mixed tourism, leisure, retail and residential uses on land to the west of the Royal Harbour and along the Eastern Seafront together with the refurbishment of the military arches to facilitate their use primarily as cafes and restaurants. Some improvements have already been completed such as Royal Harbour Approach, a new promenade, extension of the marina and improvements around the York Street area. Other aspects of the development framework include enhancement of the Motor Museum, enhancement of the Maritime Museum, improvement of vertical circulation (i.e. lifts), a camera obscura and improved linkages along the seafront and with the town centres.

2.95.

The Royal Harbour is a Grade II* listed structure and is the focus of the Conservation Area. New development in this area will need to take full account of the character of the harbour and seafront as a listed structure within the Ramsgate Conservation Area. All new development will be required to meet the demanding standards of such a location in terms of design, enhancement and use of materials.

POLICY EC8 - RAMSGATE WATERFRONT

LAND AT AND ADJACENT TO RAMSGATE HARBOUR, AS INDICATED ON THE PROPOSALS MAP, IS IDENTIFIED FOR DEVELOPMENT FOR A MIXTURE OF LEISURE, TOURISM, RETAIL AND RESIDENTIAL PURPOSES.

ANY SUCH PROPOSALS SHOULD HAVE REGARD TO SUPPLEMENTARY PLANNING GUIDANCE FOR RAMSGATE RENAISSANCE, INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING ELEMENTS:

  1. LAND WEST OF THE ROYAL HARBOUR - NEW RESIDENTIAL AND LEISURE DEVELOPMENT; AND
  2. RAMSGATE ROYAL HARBOUR - CONTINUED DEVELOPMENT OF MIXED LEISURE AND MARINA FACILITIES, IN PARTICULAR AT THE MILITARY ROAD ARCHES; AND
  3. EASTERN UNDERCLIFF - MIXED LEISURE, TOURISM AND RESIDENTIAL USES.

ALL DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS MUST TAKE PARTICULAR CARE IN THE DESIGN, LOCATION, USE OF MATERIALS AND RELATIONSHIP OF LAND-BASED FACILITIES WITH OPEN WATER, SUCH AS TO PROTECT IMPORTANT VIEWS AND PRESERVE OR ENHANCE THE HISTORICAL CHARACTER OF THE ROYAL HARBOUR AND SEAFRONT.

ALL PROPOSALS MUST ENSURE THE INTEGRITY OF NATURE CONSERVATION INTERESTS WITHIN THE ADJACENT SSSI-SPA-SAC-RAMSAR SITE IS MAINTAINED.

2.96.

Ramsgate New Port

The development of ferry services through the Port of Ramsgate continues to be an important factor in the area's attractiveness in terms of inward investment, and this position was greatly strengthened by the completion of the Royal Harbour Approach in July 2000. The Council considers that the area of land designated for port activities is sufficient, but could be changed according to demand. Policy EC8 promotes regeneration at Ramsgate Waterfront through a mix of uses within a concept of Supplementary Planning Guidance for Ramsgate Renaissance. 

2.97.

In addition, the Council is conscious of the balance to be achieved between port development and the potential environmental damage to the Sandwich Bay-Thanet Coast SSSI/SPA/Ramsar Site/Candidate Marine SAC, and to the Westcliff Beach area. As a consequence, the Council, whilst wishing to give policy support to port development, wishes to do so in a way which is sensitive to the nature conservation and landscape issues which may result from the unrestricted development of port-related activities. Any development at the Port will be subject to the Habitat Regulations.

POLICY EC9 - RAMSGATE NEW PORT

FURTHER DEVELOPMENT WILL BE PERMITTED AT THE RAMSGATE NEW PORT, AS SHOWN ON THE PROPOSALS MAP, IF IT FACILITATES THE IMPROVEMENT OF RAMSGATE AS A PORT FOR SHIPPING, TRAFFIC THROUGH THE PORT, NEW ROUTES AND COMPLEMENTARY LAND-BASED FACILITIES, SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:

  1. A DEMONSTRABLE PORT-RELATED NEED FOR ANY PROPOSED LAND-BASED FACILITIES TO BE LOCATED IN THE AREA OF THE NEW PORT, AND ALSO A DEMONSTRABLE LACK OF SUITABLE ALTERNATIVE INLAND LOCATIONS; AND
  2. COMPATIBILITY WITH THE CHARACTER AND FUNCTION OF RAMSGATE SEAFRONT AND THE ROYAL HARBOUR AS A COMMERCIAL AND LEISURE FACILITY; AND
  3. AN ACCEPTABLE ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT OF THE IMPACT OF THE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT UPON THE HARBOUR, ITS SETTING AND SURROUNDING PROPERTY, AND THE IMPACT OF ANY PROPOSED LAND RECLAMATION UPON NATURE CONSERVATION, CONSERVATION OF THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT, THE COAST AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL HERITAGE, TOGETHER WITH ANY PROPOSALS TO MITIGATE THE IMPACT.

LAND RECLAMATION WILL NOT BE PERMITTED BEYOND THE WESTERN EXTREMITY OF THE EXISTING LIMIT OF RECLAIMED LAND.

2.98.

Margate Old Town & Harbour

The Old Town of Margate is located north of the main centre of the town, near to the historic harbour. The area was once the original town centre during the early stages of Margate’s development and this historic connection is reflected in the many Listed Buildings in this location, and with the inclusion of the Old Town within the Margate Conservation Area. However, despite the obvious historic charm, it has been perceived as isolated and has rarely been visited by tourists. Due to the lack of interest and investment, buildings have become run down and left empty, which perpetuates the cycle of decline.

2.99.

The Council recognises that the rejuvenation of this area has a vital part to play in the revitalisation of the whole town both in terms of tourism and economic revival. A major initiative has been the formulation of the ‘Margate Master Plan’. Studies have been carried out and a partnership of different organisations, including Thanet Council, Kent County Council, South-East England Development Agency (SEEDA), English Partnerships, and the South-East England Tourist Board has been established. The first public consultation period for this document was held in Spring 2004.

2.100.

The aim of this new initiative is to take advantage of the special character of Margate’s Old Town to attract businesses, create links to the newer parts of the town and to re-establish the area as one of cultural importance. The mix of design and range of buildings that can be found in the Old Town area also offers an ideal framework and background to encourage cultural and artistic quarters, together with offering a central location for small ‘high-tech’ industries, such as for information technology. The initiative also includes other aspects such as improved street lighting, sports facilities, public spaces, as well as a ‘Heritage Trail’, public art and organised special events.

2.101.

An exciting component of the Action Plan is the establishment of the ‘Turner Centre’, a new contemporary art gallery, named in recognition of JMW Turner’s links with Margate. This centre is planned to exhibit international, national and local works of art and be a focus for training, as well as enhancing the cultural quarters of the Old Town. The new building will be constructed adjacent to Margate Harbour and will be highly visible from the across the bay, thus drawing visitors from the railway station and beach over to the Old Town area. The availability of the site adjacent to the Droit House should enable further opportunities, such as the creation of a public space or the establishment of restaurants and cafes.

2.102.

Other sites around the Old Town also provide opportunities for other tourist-related uses, including hotel development. Most notably the area adjacent to the Harbour known as The Rendezvous is a potential site that would be appropriate for such a use or leisure use.

2.103.

The Margate Old Town Action Plan will, therefore, seek to find new uses for the area’s empty and under utilised buildings, to provide a range of activities all year long to ensure that the town regains its status as a major leisure destination. Proposals that are within a Listed Building will be considered in relation to their impact on the siting, character and fabric of the building. All proposals will also be considered in relation to their impact on the character of the Conservation Area. Policy H10 complements the objectives of Policy EC10 by permitting appropriate redevelopment and refurbishment of property together with environmental improvements.

POLICY EC10 - MARGATE OLD TOWN AND HARBOUR

WITHIN THE MARGATE OLD TOWN AND HARBOUR AREA, AS DEFINED ON THE PROPOSALS MAP, THE FOLLOWING USES WILL BE PERMITTED:

  • CULTURAL INDUSTRIES;
  • RETAILING AND DISPLAY OF ANTIQUES, ARTS AND CRAFTS;
  • ARTIST FACILITIES;
  • MEDIA CENTRES;
  • SMALLER STARTER OFFICE SITES FOR HIGH-TECH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRIES;
  • USES FALLING WITHIN USE CLASS A3 OF THE TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (USE CLASSES) ORDER 1988;
  • RESIDENTIAL USE;
  • HOTELS
  • CASINOS.
2.104.

Business Hotels

The Council recognises that part of the regeneration strategy should be to make provision for facilities for business people visiting the area and using the airport. In recent years, the development of new, quality hotels in Thanet has been very limited, and the provision of new hotel facilities is highly desirable for both business and tourism purposes. Policy EC11 seeks to encourage business hotels in the Central Island area near to the airport.

2.105.

Three planning consents currently exist for new hotels in the vicinity of the airport – at The Prospect and at Garden Cottage, both at Minster, and at World’s Wonder at Manston. The three current consents comprise a total of 192 bedspaces.

(POLICY NOT SAVED) EC11 - BUSINESS HOTELS

THE COUNCIL WILL PERMIT THE DEVELOPMENT OF BUSINESS HOTELS AT APPROPRIATE LOCATIONS IN THE DISTRICT:

  1. WELL RELATED TO THE PRIMARY ROUTE NETWORK;
  2. WELL RELATED TO EXISTING BUILT DEVELOPMENT, INCLUDING THE MAIN TOURIST AREAS, AND OUTSIDE THOSE AREAS RECOGNISED FOR THEIR LANDSCAPE OR NATURE CONSERVATION VALUE; AND
  3. IF ON AGRICULTURAL LAND, LOCATED ON LAND OF LOWER QUALITY. 
2.106.

Retention of Employment Land and Buildings

Government guidance in PPG4 is that local planning authorities should seek to ensure that there is a range of premises available to meet the needs of local businesses. Development plans should contain positive policies to provide for the needs of small businesses, with a variety of sites to meet differing needs.

2.107.

The SERPLAN Regional Strategy for the South-East recognises that the economic development aspirations of the South-East cannot all be met by inward investment into the region. It advises that, particularly in depressed areas of the region, a twin-track approach be adopted – to continue to encourage inward investment into the areas, but also to encourage the birth and growth of local small companies, which are often the most prolific creators of new employment opportunities.

2.108.

The Regional Planning Guidance for the South-East states that local planning authorities should encourage economic diversity, and provide for a range of sites for small and medium-sized businesses.

2.109.

The Kent Structure Plan contains policies relating to small businesses and states that sites and buildings to meet the specific needs of small firms should be provided by a variety of means.

2.110.

In Thanet, some such facilities have been provided on the larger industrial estates and on smaller separate sites. However, it is a feature of the Thanet economy that many local firms in the area are unable to afford to lease or buy even these units, and are looking for older, cheaper premises in which to start up or expand.

2.111.

The Council therefore considers that it is essential that premises of this type in appropriate locations are retained in this use in the longer term. In the previous Local Plan, this situation was reflected in Policy BC5, to retain all land and buildings which were suitable for continued employment use, and which would have little local environmental impact. In this Plan, a survey of the District has taken place to identify such sites. Each site has been assessed in the light of economic development, environmental and highway requirements, and a number of the sites have been identified as being appropriate for long term retention.

2.112.

The demand for business premises fluctuates with general economic conditions. Business premises or land should not be lost to uses less beneficial to the community in general due to any temporary slackness in demand. A longer-term perspective is needed in the Thanet context. In order to conserve the stock and in the interests of facilitating the establishment and expansion of small businesses, the following Policy will apply.

POLICY EC12 - RETENTION OF EMPLOYMENT SITES

THE FOLLOWING SITES, AS IDENTIFIED ON THE PROPOSALS MAP, WILL BE RETAINED FOR EMPLOYMENT USES FALLING WITHIN USE CLASSES B1 AND B8 IN LOCATIONS CLOSE TO RESIDENTIAL AREAS, WITH ADDITIONAL B2 USE AWAY FROM RESIDENTIAL AREAS:

  1. ALL SITES SPECIFICALLY IDENTIFIED UNDER POLICY EC1; AND
  2. EXISTING BUSINESS SITES AND PREMISES IDENTIFIED ON THE PROPOSALS MAP AND SET OUT IN THE TABLE BELOW:
SITE
LOCATION
CROMPTONS SITE, POORHOLE LANE
BROADSTAIRS
PYSONS ROAD INDUSTRIAL ESTATE
BROADSTAIRS
THANET REACH BUSINESS PARK (part)
BROADSTAIRS
DANE VALLEY INDUSTRIAL ESTATE
ST.PETERS, BROADSTAIRS
NORTHDOWN INDUSTRIAL ESTATE
CLIFFSEND
JENTEX SITE
MANSTON
MANSTON BUSINESS PARK (part)
MANSTON
MANSTON GREEN
MARGATE
ALL SAINTS INDUSTRIAL ESTATE
MARGATE
MANSTON ROAD DEPOT
MARGATE
WESTWOOD INDUSTRIAL ESTATE
MARGATE
TIVOLI ROAD INDUSTRIAL ESTATE
MARGATE
FULLERS YARD, VICTORIA ROAD
MARGATE
LAUNDRY ROAD INDUSTRIAL ESTATE
MINSTER
EUROKENT BUSINESS PARK (part)
RAMSGATE
HAINE ROAD INDUSTRIAL ESTATE
RAMSGATE
MANSTON ROAD INDUSTRIAL ESTATE
RAMSGATE
ST.LAWRENCE INDUSTRIAL ESTATE
RAMSGATE
140-144, NEWINGTON ROAD
RAMSGATE
MAGNET & SOUTHERN, NEWINGTON ROAD
RAMSGATE
PRINCES ROAD DEPOT/PIONEER BUSINESS PARK
RAMSGATE
WHITEHALL ROAD INDUSTRIAL ESTATE RAMSGATE
HEDGEND INDUSTRIAL ESTATE, THANET WAY
ST.NICHOLAS-AT-WADE
FACTORIES, SUFFOLK AVENUE
WESTGATE
2.113.

Office Development

The office market in Thanet has, in general, lacked the demand to result in speculative development. Demand for small offices for professional and financial services has been stronger, but has been met by the re use of premises in commercial locations.

2.114.

The provision of office accommodation for those services which are not geared principally to visiting members of the public, has been assisted by the flexibility introduced by the Use Classes Order 1987. This allows industrial/storage premises (B2 to B8) to be converted, subject to size, to office use (Class B1 Business) without the need for planning permission.

2.115.

The existing employment sites allocated in the Plan make provision for B1 uses, and this argues against significant additional office provision in the Local Plan.

2.116.

On the other hand, it is strategic policy to stimulate and strengthen the expansion of economic activity. Provision is made, therefore, for office uses (A2) at the Thanet Reach site, in a central position equidistant from the Thanet towns (Policy EC1 refers) and at the proposed new Westwood Town Centre. Office proposals will also generally be considered acceptable in commercial areas and town centre locations. Such proposals will be judged in relation to policies in the Town Centres & Retailing Chapter.

(POLICY NOT SAVED) EC13 - OFFICE ACCOMMODATION

IN ADDITION TO THE EXISTING EMPLOYMENT LAND ALLOCATIONS, THE PROVISION OF NEW OFFICE ACCOMMODATION WILL BE PERMITTED IN THE TOWN CENTRES, SUBJECT TO:

  1. AT WESTWOOD, IN ACCORDANCE WITH POLICIES TC2, TC3 AND TC4;
  2. AN APPROPRIATE STANDARD OF DESIGN IN LINE WITH POLICY D1;
  3. NO LOSS OF LAND SPECIFICALLY IDENTIFIED FOR OTHER USES IN THIS PLAN;
  4. PROPOSALS MEETING POLICY REQUIREMENTS IN RELATION TO LISTED BUILDINGS AND CONSERVATION AREAS.
2.117.

Working from Home

PPG4 recognises that many small businesses are started by people working in their own homes, and suggests that technological innovations are likely to increase the incidence of home working. Certain forms of home working do not require planning consent, where the proposed use is clearly ancillary to the residential use of the property.

2.118.

The close juxtaposition of home and work can reduce car use, and is therefore environmentally sustainable, particularly bearing in mind the growth of tele working. Government guidance in draft PPG13 states that local authorities should take a flexible approach to the use of residential properties for homeworking, consistent with the need to protect the residential environment. With this in mind, the Council considers that home working should not be seen as a long-term option where the intention is to expand the business.

(POLICY NOT SAVED) EC14 - WORKING FROM HOME

PROPOSALS FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A BUSINESS OPERATING FROM A RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY WILL BE PERMITTED, PROVIDED THAT IT CAN BE DEMONSTRATED THAT THE PROPOSED USE WOULD NOT RESULT IN:

  1. DETRIMENTAL IMPACTS ON RESIDENTIAL AMENITY BY REASON OF DUST, NOISE, SMELL, FUMES OR OTHER EMISSIONS;
  2. ADDITIONAL TRAFFIC FLOWS OR VEHICLE PARKING IN THE VICINITY THAT WOULD BE HARMFUL TO RESIDENTIAL AMENITY OR HIGHWAY SAFETY; OR
  3. THE EROSION OF THE RESIDENTIAL CHARACTER OF THE AREA.
TARGETS
LP Implementation Target
Policy Area
Employment Land Allocations
Relevant Policies
EC1 and EC2
IndicatorProportion of allocated employment land taken up during Local Plan Period
Target
75% take up during the Plan period
Monitoring
Through joint Annual Employment Land Study
LP Implementation Target
Policy AreaKent International Airport
Relevant PoliciesEC2 and EC5
IndicatorNumber of jobs created, throughput volume of passengers and freight
Target3660 jobs, 1 million passengers and 250,000 tonnes
MonitoringIn conjunction with Economical Development.
LP Implementation Target
Policy AreaRetention of Employment Sites
Relevant PoliciesEC12
IndicatorThe amount (expressed in hectares) and percentage of land area lost)
Target100% retention
MonitoringThrough joint Annual Employment Land Study

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