Category Archives: Faversham Creek Basin

The Trust’s Regeneration Plan for the Basin in 2013

The Regeneration Plan for Faversham Creek Basin

has not really changed since 2013

Read how we saw the Bridge then

Summary

Since 2011 the Faversham Creek Trust has been working towards a regeneration plan that focuses on the upper part of Faversham Creek above the Brents Swing Bridge. The plan was first submitted to the Local Plan forum of the Creek Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group in November 2012. What appears here is a brief overview, revised for submission to the Faversham Town Council in November 2013.

We believe there is a unique opportunity for change in the centre of this historic town with significant economic and social benefits for residents and visitors alike. Our plan is based on the creation of a viable maritime economic facility, with workshops, moorings and a training school to serve the existing fleet of traditional vessels in the Thames Estuary.

The plan will be a team effort, with combined effort from several stakeholders including a charitable trust, a community association, identified private investors, and local and regional authorities.

The key elements

1. The regeneration of Ordnance Wharf as a single-storey marine workshop with office and community centre with access from Flood Lane, in conformity with the current local plan, the existing conservation area, and the plan now under preparation by the Brents Community Association. A potential purchaser has been confirmed subject to Ordnance Wharf not being re- zoned for housing. Implementation mid-2015.

Basin drawings 3 Ben White Nov13

2. The existing restored Purifier Building to be a training centre for students and apprentices to be run in conjunction with the Ordnance Wharf workshop. The five year plan envisages 18 students with an eventual capacity for 36 students per year. Implementation late 2015. There are also two specialist workshop units and a room for community activities.

Basin drawings 2 Ben White Nov13

3. The restoration of the BMM Weston Creek frontage outside the existing car park with the co- operation of the owner, on a long lease in exchange for the restoration cost. The resulting wharf (with back filling of a new piled frontage from the waterside) will provide moorings for up to ten sailing barges and smacks and a green amenity space along the current footpath. A private company will meet the cost of the operation to commence when the KCC has replaced the current swing bridge.

Basin drawings 1 Ben White Nov13

4. The replacement of the existing swing bridge by a new, opening bridge – by Kent County Council as a collaborative project in partnership with the Borough Council and the Town Council.

5. The repair or replacement of the sluice gates by Medway Ports and their subsequent management and dredging by the Faversham Creek Trust under licence by the authority.

The Lifting Bridge opening at High Tide for an awaiting barge, with another waiting to come out.Basin drawings 4 Ben White Nov13

These objectives are in line with feedback received from the May 2012 Creek Neighbourhood Plan exhibition and the June 2013 exhibition, and also with feedback from the Urban Initiatives consultation in 2009. They conform to Neighbourhood Plan objectives 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 11, 13, 15.

The benefits

The benefits arising from the regeneration are:

  1. Economic: the generation of new business turnover in marine workshops, training school and mooring fees, with a total annual value of £425,000 excluding indirect benefits.
  2. Job creation: the plan will create at least 50 new jobs including students and apprentices, but excluding tourism spin-off related employment in the town.
  3. Social: the regeneration of the Creek basin would remove an eyesore from the centre of the town. It replaces a derelict and unsafe area adjoining a public footpath by a safe waterfront and public space with a view over barges and the town skyline. The repaired or replaced sluice gates would permit water retention in the basin and therefore a safe water area for community activities, sea scouts and sail training not normally available in a tidal creek.
  4. Heritage: the plan as a whole provides a significant location in the Purifier Building and Ordnance Wharf workshops for a living maritime heritage centre where schoolchildren and visitors to the town can see shipwrights at work and engage with Faversham’s history.
  5. Visitor numbers: the annual number of visitors to Faversham (15,000 in 2011) would rise by at least 25% as a consequence of a revitalised basin. The experience of Maldon with its smaller resident population but a fleet of ten Thames Barges and 30,000 visitors supports this contention.

Implementation

We envisage that construction could begin in 2015, preceded by a planning application in 2014. The continued commitment of the KCC to a working bridge to the basin and confirmation of the existing zoning are key conditions to the success of the plan.

Board of Trustees, Faversham Creek Trust – 25 November 2013

WELL DONE FAVERSHAM – YOU’VE DONE IT!!!

Thank you

We’ve done it! We’ve raised £125,000! Join us for a photo call on the Bridge tomorrow (Sunday 27 September) at 2 pm
The final payment has been made into the KCC Swing Bridge Fund, bringing the total to £125,000.

We’ll be lining the Bridge tomorrow (27 September) at 2 pm, when photographers from our local newspapers will take pictures of everyone waving and thanking Faversham for our tremendous success.

What a fantastic fundraising summer we’ve had, with 53 events, and support and donations from dozens of local businesses and thousands of people. Most are from Faversham but others hail from much further afield – as far away as Australia, Brazil and California!

Now it’s time to say thank you to everyone who has contributed to Swing the Bridge. We’ll be putting up posters like the one above all over town. If you would like one to put in your window, it will be available to download soon from our website – Swing the Bridge Literature – or email us on favershamcreektrust@yahoo.co.uk to request one.

We will close our fund on 30 September, as planned. Any funds raised over the target will be held separately, and will be used for Bridge related projects in the Basin. As you know, opening the Bridge is the first stage towards regenerating the Basin, bringing back maritime activity and creating a waterfront for all to enjoy. Watch this space for future developments!

As always, please do keep spreading the word and keep those donations – big or small! – coming in, in this, the final few days of our fund-raising campaign. While we’ve reached the first target, it’s certainly not the last!

Thank you for your continued support for ‘Swing the Bridge.’

The Swing the Bridge campaign team

Swing the Bridge fund total now £75,000

The Swing the Bridge fund thermometer in Faversham Town Square, has been upgraded to show total receipts of £75,000.DSC_0223

Many thanks are due to all those who have contributed or helped to raise funds. This is an astounding result for just four months actual fundraising, and confirms that we are on course to achieving the full amount required to secure a Swing Bridge, rather than a fixed one, provided we keep up the pace, till the end of September, just eight weeks away.

So, if you are thinking about it, now is the time to put hand in pocket or pen to cheque and make your contribution, no matter how small, as every little bit helps. The easiest way is to use the on-line GIVEY fund at the head of this page. Don’t forget that Gift Aid is worth 25% on top, so sign a Gift Aid form.

That Dinghy Race

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Six dinghies started but only four finished the two laps and the winners were Alan Staley for the Traditionalists and Helen North for the Bermudans. Worries about whether the tide would make enough water were overcome by just launching them in anyway, the breeze overcoming any resistance of the mud .

Helen tore away from the start, signalled by Lady Sondes and her very loud air horn, and never looked back [clearly needed a bucket tied to her transom] and Alan and John lead the way in the luggers, until John let excitement waggle his rudder in the mud too vigorously causing it to break. The Topper was the only capsize but the rescue boat was on hand just in case he stuck his mast in the mud [nothing worse]  and the narrow beat to Morrisons definitely sorted the girls from the boys.

The winners were welcomed back over the line by more blasts on her Ladyship’s horn, having just given the now excited press photographer, reliving his youth as a fashion photographer, a demonstration of her modelling skills around the starting pole, whilst wearing a lifebuoy… we expect interesting pics in the Faversham Press today.  Lady Sondes kindly presented the cups to the winners; we hope that she enjoyed her day and thank her for joining in the spirit of the event.

A great way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon and a reminder of what it will be like when we open that Bridge.

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Our thanks go to Sixer, the Rescue Boat Crew, all the entrants and everyone who helped to make it an enjoyable and successful day.

 

The Faversham Basin Dinghy Race this Sunday 19th July

This annual race was started by Sixer 3 years ago as a fun event to show what it would be like if the Basin was full of water and available to be used by boats, albeit small boats just now, but soon, when we have a Swinging Bridge, then it will be full of all sorts of craft.

The pics below are from last years race; this year there will be 2 cups, one for traditionally rigged boats, and one for more modern bermudan rigged boats. A just for fun race around the Basin….

IMG_1064IMG_1092IMG_1084IMG_1088IMG_1125

Family Bike Ride Fundraising for the Bridge Sat 11th

Family Bike Ride A4.docx

SPONSORSHIP FORM HERE;   STB Bike Ride Sponsorship Form

 

MEET YOUR NEW SWING BRIDGE

This is the first drawing of the new SWING BRIDGE, that has been issued by KCC as part of a public consultation by the Marine Management Organisation. The details of this consultation can be seen at the Faversham Library.

By kind permission of KCC

By kind permission of KCC

Swing the Bridge collection through GIVEY.com

We’ve been asked why our Swing-the-Bridge page on Givey.com is showing only £10,000 as our target – when in fact the total target £125k! That’s because we thought that people would like to give online (including Gift Aid if possible) and the £10k challenge was achievable for people giving small amounts, or little and often.

Of course, we are also fundraising with Events, approaching Trusts and Organisations, and other Major Donors, to reach the big total. Progress so far is excellent, with widespread support, £40,000 in cash received and a further £30,000 in pledges. That leaves just £55,000 to go!

So Please help us today! Don’t leave it for later…. go to http://www.givey.com/swingthebridge  – and thank you! Every single pound and penny counts!

Faversham Business Partnership visits the Purifier

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On Thursday night, 30 members of the Faversham Business Partnership visited the Purifier for a presentation about what the Trust is doing, and an opportunity to develop better links between the Trust and the other Businesses in the Town.IMG_2029

Chris Wright welcomed everyone with a short history of the Trust, our aims for the Basin, and why we are collecting funds for the Swing Bridge.

Chris Bichard talked about the need for better networking within the Town amongst all the businesses and organisations with an interest in developing the Town. IMG_2035

Brian Pain described the Apprentice Scheme and showed what they would be building, a replica of the Mayhi.

English Heritage’s Modifications to Creek Plan

FAVERSHAM TOWN COUNCIL TO DISCUSS
REVISED NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN
TUESDAY 7 APRIL 2015 AT 7 PM IN THE GUILDHALL

The Faversham Creek Neighbourhood Plan has been revised by Swale Borough Council, to take into account concerns raised by English Heritage. Although these are being reported as ‘minor’ modifications, the revisions are contained in a 12 page document, and they affect 33 pages of the Plan. They can be read here http://tinyurl.com/pnml6xl , and they make very interesting reading. Some of the main points are summarised at the end of this email.

The agenda for Faversham Town Council’s meeting on Tuesday, 7 April (7 pm in the Guildhall) – you can find it here http://tinyurl.com/nehuwt5 – includes item number 9, “To receive and approve the recommendations of the Town Clerk’s Report (copy enclosed).

Item Number 8 of the Town Clerk’s Report (page 11 of the above document) reads as follows:

“FAVERSHAM CREEK NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN: ENGLISH HERITAGE

Following discussions with English Heritage, the attached paper indicates minor amendments that can be accepted to the draft Neighbourhood Plan. The purpose of the attached is to reassure the Independent Examiner that English Heritage’s views, although submitted after the general consultation closed, have been considered and, where appropriate, taken into account. The Town Council, Swale Borough Council and the independent planning consultant, Richard Eastham have been in discussion with English Heritage and believe that the Plan, with those amendments, meets the basic conditions as required by independent examination as well as meeting English Heritage’s concerns. Are Members content for this to be presented as the Town Council’s final amendments to the Plan following the consultation as led by Swale Borough Council?”

We think it is very important for the people of Faversham to be involved in such  crucial decisions. If you are interested to hear what the Council are discussing, please come to this meeting on Tuesday evening. It is your last opportunity to question your Councillors before the Neighbourhood Plan goes to the Independent Examiner. Please arrive early – the doors may be closed to late comers.

WHY ARE WE NOT BEING TOLD?

Many people would expect something as important to the residents of Faversham as the Neighbourhood Plan to be shown as a specific item on the agenda for a meeting, and to have a proper discussion held about the amendments. Many would agree that the proposed amendments are not minor.

English Heritage has no record of having been consulted at the proper time (Regulation 14 stage, which took place in May and June 2014), which is why they submitted their document during the Regulation 16 stage (November and December 2014). The introduction to the document, or ‘Statement of Common Ground and Schedule of Minor Modifications 28.03.15’ recognises this fact (paragraphs 3 and 4).

WHAT DOES THE DOCUMENT SAY?

Evidence Base

On page 3 of this document, in the first major paragraph, it is stated that:

‘All sites allocated for development have been assessed initially through the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment 2011 conducted by Swale Borough Council, and in the Strategic Environmental Assessment (date) prepared for the plan by Swale Borough Council.’

FCT responded to the SHLAA 2011-12, requesting that all sites within the Faversham Creek Neighbourhood Plan area should be excluded from the SHLAA pending the Plan. The response that was given to every site was:

“The purpose of the SHLAA is to assess potential housing sites. It forms part of the evidence base which will be taken into account when preparing the Neighbourhood Plan (which will balance all interests and cumulative impacts)”

In the SHLAA 2012-13, in the site specific sections, the Neighbourhood Plan is referred to as ‘advocating employment-led regeneration.’

It is questionable whether the Neighbourhood Plan did balance all interests and cumulative impacts. It is questionable whether the Neighbourhood Plan does ‘advocate employment-led regeneration’.

A search of Swale’s website for the Strategic Environmental Assessment yields nothing. The fact that no date is given for it in this ‘Schedule of Minor Modifications’ may be indicative of its existence.

Members of the Steering Group and other interested parties have repeatedly requested this document, which should have been prepared at an early stage of the planning process, but it had not been written. They still have not received a copy. It could not have been used to assess the sites allocated for development, as at that time it did not exist, and at this time it is not in the public domain. This document should, legally, have been written at a much earlier stage, and should have been available to the Steering Group and the public before the Plan was written.

Summary of Changes

The amendments do make a very considerable difference to the Plan, especially to Ordnance Wharf and Swan Quay, and to matters concerning the conservation area, the archaeology and historical aspects of the sites, the views and design standards. Specific sites which are affected directly (although all are covered by the ‘Background Text and Scene Setting’ and the ‘Creek-Wide Policies’) are Site 2 Ordnance Wharf, Site 3 BMM Weston, Sites 4 and 5 Swan Quay / Frank and Whittome, Site 8 Standard Quay and Site 9 Standard House.

Notes on Policy Changes

The policies for Ordnance Wharf would make it considerably more difficult to build residential units on it, but still would not preclude them.

The policies for Swan Quay would make it more difficult for the proposed large blocks of flats to be built by the Quayside, but would allow some housing. They offer much more protection to the existing industrial buildings, the industrial nature of the site, and to the environment of the historic and listed buildings on and close to the site, but it may not be enough.

The policies for Standard Quay remove the use of Building No. 1 as a restaurant.

The policies for Standard House offer greater protection to its setting as a significant landmark on the Creek.

In summary, then, these changes do offer some, but not all, of what Faversham Creek Trust and others have been asking for all these years. However, they should be properly debated by a full Council Meeting in public, as a specific agenda item – they are too important to be subsumed into a vote on the Town Clerk’s words:

“Are Members content for this to be presented as the Town Council’s final amendments to the Plan following the consultation as led by Swale Borough Council?”

If you wish to show your interest and concern about these items, please come to this meeting next Tuesday, 7 April, at 7 pm in the Guildhall, if you possibly can.