Plans for Manston Airport railway station drawn up

Charles Buchanan at Manston
Image caption Charles Buchanan, the airport's chief executive, welcomed the plans

Plans for a railway station and improved road access near Manston Airport in Kent have been drawn up.

The proposals, part of the Manston Green housing development, would see about 800 homes built and a parkway station on land east of the airport.

The proposals are being led by private investment fund Cogent Land LLP. The land is currently owned by a farmer.

The plans come six months after the first flight from Manston to Amsterdam took off.

Charles Buchanan, the airport's chief executive, said a shuttle bus service would run from the railway station to the airport.

"We totally support a parkway station," he said.

"It will improve access for the area, it will be an engine for the regeneration of the local economy and it will also provide a simple way to get to and from the airport."

'40-year vision'

Kevin Ashman, spokesman for Cogent Land LLP, said under the plans, the A256 would be extended from the Lord of the Manor roundabout up to Manston Road, and that a school would be built.

A public exhibition is being planned for later this month and a planning application is due to be submitted before the end of the year.

In July, Manston Airport revealed its 40-year vision as part of its submission to the government commission looking at airport expansion in the South East.

Between 2015 and 2025, Manston says it could be handling five million passengers a year and 400,000 tonnes of freight.

It also proposes becoming a principal "diversion" airport for Gatwick and Heathrow while new capacity is being built.

In the longer term, it wants to attract more business and leisure traffic from low-cost carriers from Africa, Europe and Asia.

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