Sharing the vision

Sharing the vision

The future of the former airport has been much discussed in the build up to the general election on May 7th. It has been business as usual for us as we continue our work, behind the scenes, to develop our draft master plan for the site.

We believe the focus should be on creating a sustainable development which is socially, environmentally and economically viable. This webpage reveals the latest on our direction of travel and the work we are doing to get there. More will be revealed later this summer when a period of public consultation begins.

The information below gives a taste of what we intend to do with the site and should be viewed as work in progress.

Historical mapping

In creating viable design options for the future of the former Manston airport site we need to look at the past.

An historical mapping exercise can provide us with a narrative of local history, demographics and the movement of people across the backdrop of a timeline.

We’ve looked at the various uses of the site through the centuries from the time of the Industrial Revolution and the Great Railway Age of the 1830s right up to the present day.

Wider Thanet character overview

This part of our research considers the existing landscape character of the Thanet region, formal designations, existing linkages and settlements and how the site at Manston might impact, link and enhance them.

Landscape designation

Due to the rich and unique landscape that is present within Thanet, a wide range of environmental designations, ranging in importance and level of protection from statutory European treaties through to local authority guidance are present.

These designations could potentially affect the scale, location and nature of development within the site, as well as offer potential wider opportunities/betterment for the Thanet region. This is one of the key elements of our work in developing the master plan in order to ensure what we propose is right for the site.

A sustainable future

Large scale industrial, retail, road infrastructure and energy developments have changed the character of Thanet over the past 20 years.

We have embarked on a landscape character study to ensure the environmental ‘footprint’ of any new development we propose is kept as low as possible.

Combined with all the other research, a taste of which is detailed above, we are confident that the eventual outcome will be a 21st century scheme that will deliver what residents and businesses in Thanet need.

Design concepts

A number of ideas are being explored to create a world-class development on the former Manston airport site that will help deliver jobs and prosperity to Thanet and East Kent over 20 years.

This section gives an update on the options that are now taking shape as part of preparations for the submission of a full planning application later this year. Watch this space.

Live Work Play

This design concept for the site has three distinct areas – commercial, residential and parkland – with a central civic hub offering a range of facilities.

The existing two museums would be retained and enhanced to create a heritage hub with grass runway strip linked to open space.

There would be an educational centre based near transport links, residential areas set within parkland, including formal playing fields.

The runway will be retained becoming the main road link for the site, set within new parkland open for all to enjoy.

Leisure and Arts

This design concept for the site takes a recreational/sport and arts focus inspired by Thanet’s growing reputation for all things creative.

Commercial and housing zones would be complemented with arts trails, a sculpture park with the site’s heritage preserved with parkland, as well as the existing museums.

There would be an emphasis on sports and recreation throughout the site, including cycling and walking routes. An open water leisure facility would also form part of this option.

Public consultation

We will be revealing more about our vision this summer when we publish our draft master plan with a chance for you to have your say. This will form part of a period of formal public consultation. Use the link below to register your interest.