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Thanet plan approved by Planning Inspectorate

Words: Laura Edgar
Ramsgate, in Thanet district / iStock-170222515

Thanet Local Plan has been found sound by the Planning Inspectorate (PINs) – subject to a number of modifications.

The district council is looking to deliver 18,457 homes over the plan period (to 2031) and between 1,200 and 5,100 jobs, depending on the economy. It hopes to be able to create 5,000 new jobs. 

Based on calculations provided by the council, which suggest about 2,300 total jobs were created between 2011 and 2017, inspectors Matthew Birkinshaw and Victoria Lucas assess the job growth figure in policy SP02 as being “reasonable and justified”. 

The district is required to deliver 17,140 homes, but the council has identified the potential for 18,457 homes. The inspectors found that the plan “is informed by a robust, objective assessment of housing need and is positively prepared in identifying a housing requirement and trajectory to meet that need in full”.

The proposed locations and sites for new housing have been backed by the inspectors, as has the approach to employment land.

The inspectors also found that Thanet District Council engaged “constructively” with other councils in East Kent, meaning that duty to cooperate has been met, while all legal requirements, including for the statement of community involvement and the sustainability appraisal, have also been met.

Recommendations outlined by Birkinshaw and Lucas include a lower level of housing delivery in the first five years of the plan and a new policy for Manston Airport that recognises the current development consent order process. 

The main modifications need to be considered by the full council before the plan can be adopted but because of the outbreak of Covid-19 a date for this meeting has not been scheduled. The council says it is hopeful that the plan can be adopted this summer.

Rick Everitt, leader of Thanet District Council, said: “I welcome the inspectors’ careful analysis of the issues and am pleased that they have agreed with our overall approach and concluded that the plan is sound.

“Priorities in the plan include creating jobs, meeting housing needs, providing genuinely affordable housing and supporting growth with the necessary infrastructure and regeneration strategies for key locations.

“If full council agrees to adopt the plan, it will provide the basis for decisions on all subsequent planning applications. It will also provide a higher level of protection for land the council has identified as unsuitable for development, which I know is important to many residents.”

More details on the local plan can be found on the council website.

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