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Plans submitted to transform former Manston airport site

By Paul Francis

The owners of the former Manston airport site have set out far-reaching plans to redevelop it which they say will transform the area, creating thousands of new jobs and homes.

The plans, which have been formally submitted to Thanet District Council, include up to 3700 new homes and 46,000 sq m of offices, which would create 11,000 jobs, including employment during the construction of the site.

The submission of a formal planning application to Thanet District Council comes three years after the site, now known as Stone Hill Park, was acquired by owners Trevor Cartner and Paul Musgrave.

Artists impressions of the site
Artists impressions of the site

The plans also set out a proposal for what is described as a heritage airport with a working runway which could be used for displays.

The Spitfire and Hurricane Museum and RAF Museum would be relocated to this part of the site.

There would also be a range of leisure facilities including a 50m swimming pool and a surfing lake, a 120-bedroom hotel and a series of parks and gardens.

This latest planning application supercedes one submitted by Stone Hill Park in 2016.

It comes as the consortium bidding to take control of the site and reopen it as an airport has "temporarily" withdrawn its application with the Planning Inspectorate.

Artists impressions of the site
Artists impressions of the site

Trevor Cartner, joint owner, Stone Hill Park, said: “In November we announced significant enhancements to our masterplan following extensive consultation.

"These updated proposals have now formed the basis of the planning application submitted today.

"Our intention is to deliver thousands of much needed homes, thousands of hi-tech and manufacturing jobs, as well as new heritage attractions, acres of new open space and a destination sports and leisure village.

"The application is the result of extensive consultation with residents, community groups, stakeholders and others helping us to finalise a scheme that will ensure this iconic site plays a key role in regenerating this part of Kent as a place to live, work and visit.

Artists impressions of the site
Artists impressions of the site

"What has been put forward and prepared over many months is the right plan for Manston and the right plan for Thanet, delivering the economic shot in the arm that this part of Kent needs now.”

The plans would, it is claimed, deliver a huge boost to the local economy, including £46m to the council through government grants made through the new homes bonus.

The plans will now be the subject of a public consultation period during which residents and others will have the opportunity to register their views before a decision is made.

Full details of the redevelopment will be published on the council's website.

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