“We want the airport so there are no houses.”

It’s something we’ve heard over and over.  Of course, we are used to the concept of telling a lie often enough that it becomes the truth in people’s minds.

Famously, Joseph Goebels, mastermind of Nazi propaganda, said of us:

The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.

We at NNF are in the business of contradicting lies, especially big fat ones that have grown a life of their own.

Any plan at all to build an airport at Manston would not mean that new homes would not be built in Thanet.  We’ll say that again.  Building an airport at Manston would not reduce by one the number of new homes that have to be built in Thanet over the next 20 or so years.

Why?

  • Because there is a national housing shortage.
  • Because that housing shortage is particularly bad in the south east.
  • Because each local council has to have a local plan where they show where they intend to allow new homes to be built over the next 20 or so years.
  • Because all local plans have to be evidence-based and the evidence of census details on our local population show that we are going to need around 16,000 new homes between 2011 and 2031.  That’s right – our own local population even without new people moving into the area.  Doesn’t make sense, I hear you cry. Well, population needs have increased because we are living longer and longer (not freeing up homes for the young) and more and more relationships and families split meaning the need for greater numbers of homes than ever before.
  • Because the national government rejects local plans that don’t indicate in detail where the projected new homes will be built.
  • Because if we don’t plan for this number of homes then the plan will be rejected and developers can then put in for planning on any site they wish.  It’s surely better for us to plan where we want those homes to go.

The population in Thanet has been consulted on this before.  We’ve told Thanet District Council that we would rather have homes built on brownfield sites.  We’ve told them that we would rather they were clustered in developments on larger sites rather than have endless piecemeal developments on the fringes of our villages and towns.

Manston is a massive brownfield site.  Any houses built there mean that there are fewer houses built on green fields.  Many will have to be built on green fields anyway because there’s just not sufficient brownfield sites but no homes at Manston means another 2,500 that will inevitably be built on a green field site somewhere near you.

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