Manston airport owners reveal images of masterplan for future of the Thanet site

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The owners of the former Manston airport have released the first images of what they want the site to look like in the future.

Two concepts for the area have been revealed, each with residential areas, commercial space and parkland.

The designs have been drawn up based on the redevelopment of European airports like Flugfield Boblingen in Stuttgart, Tempelhof Airport in Berlin and Ypenburg in the Netherlands.

The last KLM flight leaves Manston airport
The last KLM flight leaves Manston airport

Unveiling plans for the redevelopment, which is set to create 4,000 jobs, will be seen as an attempt by the site’s owners to restate their mission after various political parties have pledged to reopen the runway during the general election campaign.

They plan to begin a consultation on their masterplan for the site in June, with the aim of submitting the first planning applications later this year.

The project is being led by international property and planning firm GVA, which devised the regeneration of Discovery Park, the former research and development headquarters of Pfizer in Sandwich, which is also owned by Manston’s owners Chris Musgrave and Trevor Cartner.

Mr Musgrave said: “We are making good progress in devising exciting plans for the future of Manston.

How the former Manston airport site could look
How the former Manston airport site could look
One of the concepts for the former Manston airport site
One of the concepts for the former Manston airport site

“Much work is going on behind the scenes on making sure the various elements are balanced just right.

“There is still work to be done before we have a completed blue-print but we are on track to complete this initial preparatory work and reveal our outline plans by June this year.

“In the meantime we are very encouraged by the amount of interest being shown in the site from prospective employers who are excited by our vision and delivery record.

“Whilst we are very aware that our site is a focus for the election campaign in Thanet, it is equally important that the public are aware that our focus remains upon delivering jobs and prosperity to Thanet and East Kent.”

The Conservatives have hinged much of their campaign on the fight to reopen the site as an airport, with North Thanet candidate Sir Roger Gale inviting ministers Grant Shapps, Patrick McLoughlin and John Hayes to high-profile rallies.

Trevor Cartner
Trevor Cartner

Sir Roger said: "As I have said time and again I have no Plan B. I want Manston re-opened as an airport. Nothing else."

Ukip included a pledge to reopen the site in its manifesto.

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