10 December, 2021

Council launches public engagement of ‘partial update’ to Thanet’s Local Plan

The public are being asked for their views on a number of studies which have been put together as part of the process to complete a ‘partial update’ of Thanet’s Local Plan.

The Local Plan sets out the strategy for the future development of the local area, and is drawn up by the council in its role as Local Planning Authority. The Local Plan, which was adopted for Thanet in July 2020, covers the period to 2031. 

The council is now preparing a ‘partial update’ of the Local Plan for Thanet which will extend the plan up to 2040. A partial update means that it is updating certain parts of the Plan and reviewing topics that previous Local Plan Inspectors recommended. This is not an update of the whole Plan. 

The public can submit their views via the council’s consultation website on a number of aspects of early Local Plan work until 5pm on Friday 4 February 2022. 

The council has undertaken a number of studies which each play a part in the process of preparing the updated Plan. These studies are as follows:

  • Local Housing Need Update

This identifies the amount of housing for which the council needs to allocate land, up to 2040, calculated in line with Government guidance, and provides more information about local housing needs.

  • Retail & Leisure Study

This study indicates that there is little requirement for additional retail floorspace until we approach 2040.

  • Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report

This report identifies a range of social, economic and environmental criteria against which the draft Plan will be assessed. Natural England, the Environment Agency and Historic England have all provided input into this report, but we invite feedback on whether we have identified the right criteria.

  • Habitat Regulations Assessment Scoping Report

The Habitats Regulations Assessment ensures that Thanet’s internationally designated wildlife sites are protected. The Scoping Report details these sites and provides a framework for assessing whether the Local Plan is likely to have a significant impact.

Two discussion papers have been published, and local residents and businesses are invited to provide feedback or share any additional evidence that they have, in relation to these topics:

  1. Development Strategy discussion paper: This paper contains information on how the council decides where the focus of development should be, up to 2040. In the adopted Local Plan, the focus is firstly on the towns and then the larger villages and the areas next to them, as agreed by the Inspectors who looked at the draft Plan in 2019. The council needs to consider whether to continue that focus, or to look at another option.
  2. Employment Need discussion paper: This paper looks at the number of jobs that are needed to plan for up to 2040.  Initial work carried out by Kent County Council on TDC’s behalf suggests that plans for sites and buildings will need to support approximately 11,000 jobs. 

Cllr Ash Ashbee, Leader of Thanet District Council, said:

“We are at the very start of the process to update the Local Plan. The Plan really does shape how our district will look in the years ahead, both in terms of housing, but also other types of development and infrastructure. It is so important to us to hear your views on the Plan at all stages of the review. 

“After we have gathered views and further evidence at this initial stage, next year we will publish a draft Plan which will set out the detailed policy proposals for the area up to 2040. There will be an opportunity to comment before the draft Plan is finalised. We will follow this with a further opportunity to comment on a full draft Plan and the wider allocation of housing and sites later on in the process, likely to be midway through 2022.”

The supporting evidence documents are available to view on the Council’s consultation website, where comments can be made, and supporting documentation can be uploaded as further evidence to support responses. 

Feedback can also be submitted by email to local.plans@thanet.gov.uk or by post to Strategic Planning Team, Thanet District Council, PO Box 9, Cecil Street, Margate, Kent CT9 1XZ. Please mark your comments ‘Local Plan Partial Update’. 

If you would like to speak to one of the Local Plan team before making comments, please contact 01843 577591 or email: local.plans@thanet.gov.uk

Hard copies of the documents are available to view at all local libraries and some Town or Parish Council offices.

As part of the Local Plan update, the council has also re-opened their ‘call for sites’ to identify sites that could be classified as ‘suitable, available and deliverable’ and which could help to meet future local development needs. We welcome contact from agents and landowners who may have such sites to put them forward via our consultation website.

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