Local Survey Responses:
On 20th January Thanet District Council announced a six-week public consultation on their Local Plan. In response I launched two surveys to enable local people to feed in their views on Manston Airport and Ramsgate Port.
Over 1,100 responses were received for the survey for Manston Airport, with over 500 responses being received for the survey on Ramsgate Port.
I am pleased to see that so many people responded. I will be sending these responses to TDC for inclusion in the local plan consultation. It is now up to TDC to take on board what local people have said.
In regards to the Ramsgate Port survey, 92% or respondents believed that a leisure based port would be beneficial for the area. The respondents have clearly rejected TDC proposals that Ramsgate Port should have a heavily industrialised future, with 85% saying that recent costs and operating losses of £8m had done nothing for the town and merely cost local taxpayers a huge amount of their money. 72% said that an industrialised port would damage the town.
Whilst 82% did believe that if a ferry operator could be found it would be beneficial for the town, only 30% believed that given the expansion at Dover one would likely be found.
I firmly believe that the future of Ramsgate port should be one of leisure based business. The people of Thanet have clearly rejected the Councils proposals for heavy industrialisation and it is time for TDC to consider other options.
The survey for Manston Airport showed overwhelming support for the full return of Manston as an airport. Thanet District Council believes the Manston Airport site should be used for housing and ‘mixed use’ development, rather than as a fully functioning airport, breaking a clear election pledge of the ruling group.
Over 76% of respondents believe that Manston should be an airport. With 77% believing that a re-opened Manston Airport would provide economic growth to the local area. In a clear message to TDC just 19% of respondents agreed with the councils position of not supporting Manston Airport. With over 76% saying that they should support Manston Airport.
I firmly believe that Manston Airport can be a huge success for our local area, bringing much needed investment and jobs to Thanet. The results of the survey clearly show that local people want their airport back and TDC need to start listening.