RiverOak reveals plans for Manston Airport

Restaurant Tech Live blog post 1 Restaurant Tech Live blog post 4

RiverOak has submitted its plans for the former Manston Airport site after the "culmination of a three-year process". The proposals include a heritage airport and a series of "major new public parks" for the district.

They also propose up to 3,700 homes to be built over a 15-20 year period and the building of a link road to Westwood Cross.

The firm last month submitted its Development Consent Order (DCO), which can grant permission for infrastructure projects classed as nationally significant.

Trevor Cartner, joint owner of 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."

The proposals in full

- Up to 3,700 high quality homes for all stages of life across a range of tenures and sizes - from executive homes to starter and micro homes, built over a 15-20-year period

- Thousands of jobs and training opportunities with the potential for smaller workshops and offices right through to high tech manufacturing that links directly to the existing Manston Business Park. Sectors to be targeted include: advanced manufacturing, engineering, research and development, low carbon economy and agritech

- The modern, flexible 46,000 sq m of advanced/hi-tech employment space will provide up to 2,000 direct jobs with at least 9,000 further jobs created over the course of the project, including construction and jobs in the supply chain for the wider area

- A heritage airport with an operational runway suitable for classic, vintage and potentially light aviation. The Spitfire and Hurricane Museum and RAF Museum will be relocated here, alongside other facilities including education space, hangars and a cafe

- A series of major new public parks for Thanet at the heart of the development, including the retention of the non-operational part of the former main runway as an exciting, recreational and community event space. In all 45% (133 hectares) of the total site area would be kept as green or open space

- The creation of The East Kent Sports Village with facilities of regional significance, including Kent’s first 50m Olympic sized swimming pool and a WaveGarden surf lake

- The completion of the first part of a strategic link road through the site to allow for future connections to Westwood Cross. Other ‘green’ streets will be aligned to produce direct visual links between retained heritage features such as the fire station and control towers.

- The mixed-use scheme will include a range of supporting facilities including schools, food store, cafes/restaurants, a 120-bed hotel and health centre. Space for a small-scale campus for higher/further education is planned, located in close proximity to the employment hub.

Mr Cartner added: "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.

“Residents, politicians and others will now have a further chance to have their say over the coming weeks with Thanet District Council holding a period of statutory consultation with all our documentation placed on the council’s website, which will allow the public to engage in the process further.” 

Source: Kent Live